The San Antonio Spurs and LaMarcus Aldridge have mutually agreed to part ways, according to Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich.
Just before Popovich’s pregame press conference against the Dallas Mavericks, the Spurs announced Aldridge would be out for the game and cited the reason as, “not with team.”
When Popovich was asked if Aldridge had an injury, Popovich said Aldridge is healthy and both sides have agreed to look for opportunities for Aldridge elsewhere.
The Spurs now have two paths to explore with Aldridge:
- They could seek a trade before the March 25 deadline.
- If no trade is possible, the Spurs can buyout the remaining money on Aldridge’s contract for this season.
The trade path
Aldridge is earning $24 million this season and it’s important to keep in mind he has a 15% trade kicker, which means a team trading for him would actually have to take his $26.7 million contract if Aldridge doesn’t waive the trade kicker.
Since it’s a mutual agreement to move on, the chances are Aldridge would waive his trade kicker.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com is reporting the Spurs are speaking with multiple teams about possible Aldridge trades and there’s a ‘level of confidence’ the Spurs will find a trade in the next week.
The buyout path
If the Spurs can’t find a trade for Aldridge by March 25, the team could look at the buyout option. According to Wojnarowski, there’s currently no movement toward a buyout since it looks like a trade is a strong possibility.
The Spurs have bought out veterans who weren’t getting playing time or had a reduced role in recent years, when you recall the team going the buyout route with Pau Gasol and DeMarre Carroll.