Reports have been surfacing lately, although instantly denied by the Spurs organization of course, that 2015 big time free agent acquisition LaMarcus Aldridge is unhappy with his current role and standing with the Spurs.
Report: Spurs could trade LaMarcus Aldridge, who’s not fitting as well as they hoped https://t.co/hnEHJFBzCp
— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) October 18, 2016
The report originally surfaced from longtime and well-respected NBA Reporter Jackie MacMullan, who is most well-known for her coverage of Boston area sports teams.
According to MacMullan, sources were telling her that Aldridge may not even finish the season and the experiment with him hasn’t worked out as well as they had hoped.
The whole situation seems odd as the Spurs won a record 67 games in 2015-16 and Aldridge was an all-star, All-NBA 3rd Team performer, and clearly their go-to scoring option in the playoffs. He was instrumental in building a 2-1 lead on the Oklahoma City Thunder in the western conference semi-finals before it all fell apart.
Playing on a championship contender and the best run organization in the NBA with the best coach seems like an ideal situation for anyone, so it’s hard to believe that the Spurs reticence with Aldridge is because of his unhappiness, but when you consider some of the reports that surfaced after he left Portland it may make sense.
Sam Amick of USA Today wrote a revealing piece right after Aldridge left for San Antonio in free agency in 2015. He detailed his strained relationship with Damian Lillard and the Blazers organization and his frustration and jealousy that the Blazers seemed to promote and embrace Lillard as the face of their franchise right away in spite of Aldridge’s accomplishments.
Here is the full article: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/blazers/2015/07/04/why-lamarcus-aldridge-left-the-trail-blazers/29718151/
If this report is accurate and Aldridge does have a Rodney Dangerfield-esque “I get no respect” complex, the same thing may be happening in San Antonio as the Spurs clearly see (as they should) Kawhi Leonard as the face and future of their franchise.
That sort of inherent selfishness and not putting the team over yourself would obviously be a huge turn-off for the most team oriented and selfless organization in the NBA. This could be the exact reason why there is smoke about Aldridge being dealt this season.