Former Texas Longhorns basketball player LaMarcus Aldridge and the San Antonio Spurs agreed to mutually part ways on Wednesday evening, which will allow the forward to explore other opportunities in the NBA.
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich told reporters the news during a press conference. Aldridge was averaging just 13.7 points per game and 4.5 rebounds per game, the latter being his career low in a single season.
Aldridge is still under contract with the Spurs, but this season is the final year of his deal. So moving him will likely come down to either a trade or buying out his contract. The Detroit Pistons did the latter with Blake Griffin just before the All-Star Break, and Griffin signed with the Brooklyn Nets.
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Aldridge, the long-time NBA star who was taken No. 2 overall in the 2006 NBA Draft out of Texas, could interest a contender looking for depth at the forward or center positions. Aldridge, now 35, has an expiring $24 million deal, and if he’s moved via trade, his new home would be on the hook for less than half of it.
Expiring contracts also have value in the NBA, depending upon how they’re written. A team could trade for Aldridge, assume the cash value of the remainder of the contract, release him, and then take that value and add it to their salary cap space next season. That scenario would free Aldridge up to play for anyone he wants, so long as they wanted him.
The belief that Aldridge was on the block had legs back in February, as ESPN.com reported that the Spurs were shopping both him and Demar DeRozan.
What do you think of Aldridge and the Spurs parting ways? Comment and join in on the discussion below!
Matthew Postins is an award-winning sports journalist who covers Longhorns in the Pros for Longhorn Country on FanNation.com and SINow. He also writes for CowboyMaven and DallasBasketball.com, covers the Big 12 for HeartlandCollegeSports.com, and is the Editor of the College Football America Yearbook. Have a story idea about a former Longhorn now in the professional ranks? Contact Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.