With the NBA trade deadline now 10 days away on March 25, there were more rumors Monday regarding Spurs players LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan.
The Atheltic’s Shams Charania and Sam Amick both had some updates regarding Aldridge.
Charania wrote the Spurs are continuing to look at trades for Aldridge, but, if no trade is found and Aldridge has to be bought out, look for the Heat, Celtics, and Trail Blazers to have interest in Aldridge if he’s a free agent. We wrote about some of the obstacles the Heat and Celtics would be facing in a trade for Aldridge Sunday.
Though the Blazers would want to sign Aldridge if he’s bought out, let’s just take a look at their roster in the event they wanted to try to trade for Aldridge.
Portland is currently $21 million over the cap and like Boston, they’re limited in their trade moves because they can never cross the $138.9 million hard cap. Portland has also managed to stay $1.8 million below the luxury tax, meaning with any trades they make, they’ll likely want to stay below the tax.
Like the Spurs, Portland only has one extra roster spot open. When trying to build an Aldridge to Portland trade, you see why that’s very difficult for both the Spurs and Portland. The Blazers could get to the minimum $19 million in salary by trading Rodney Hood ($10 million) and Derrick Jones Jr. ($9.3 million) for Aldridge, but this would put Portland in the luxury tax by over $2 million.
The questions then become is Portland willing to move Hood and Jones Jr. and get into the tax for Aldridge? Are the Spurs willing to trade for Hood and Jones Jr. knowing Jones Jr. can exercise his $9.7 million player option this offseason?
In Amick’s update, his sources say all indications are that the Spurs will find a trade for Aldridge before the deadline, and that there are five teams fimly in the mix. As written in detail Sunday, the big issue is Aldridge’s contract at $24 million.
In his latest update, Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports reported though the Spurs aren’t actively seeking a trade for DeRozan, that stance could change if DeRozan and the Spurs can’t agree on an in-season extension before the trade deadline.
Haynes reports there’s currently no dialogue on an extension with just 10 days left before deadline.
Since the Spurs have full bird rights on DeRozan, they can offer anywhere from a one to five year extension before the trade deadline. If no trade or extension is completed, then DeRozan will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. The Spurs would still have full bird rights to re-sign him this offseason if he and the team wanted to remain together after this season.
Right before All-Star break, the Athletic reported the Spurs were listening to trade calls centered around their veteran players in DeRozan, Aldridge, Rudy Gay, Patty Mills, and Trey Lyles.