Free-agent forward LaMarcus Aldridge will meet with the Miami Heat and will speak with the Los Angeles Lakers for a second time. The New York Knicks are out of the running.
LaMarcus Aldridge gave the Los Angeles Lakers a second chance to impress him with a recruiting pitch, reports USA Today’s Sam Amick. He also had a lengthy dinner Thursday night in Los Angeles with Miami Heat president Pat Riley, reports ESPN's Marc Stein
Reports on Wednesday suggested that the San Antonio Spurs were the favorites to sign Aldridge after a previous meeting with the Lakers failed to impress Aldridge. The longtime Blazers forward felt Los Angeles pitch focused too much on “branding and marketing opportunities,” Wojnarowski reports.
At the first Lakers meeting, Aldridge and Kobe Bryant “didn't quite gel,” Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times reported. Bryant will not be at the second meeting, USA Today's Sam Amick reports. Instead, Aldridge “will focus on just talking basketball with [general manager] Mitch Kupchak and [head coach] Byron Scott,” according to Amick.
The Phoenix Suns are also said to be interested in signing Aldridge and cleared about $20 million in salary cap space by trading Marcus Morris, Danny Granger and Reggie Bullock to the Detroit Pistons, Wojnarowksi reports.
Aldridge canceled his meeting with the Knicks because New York wanted him to play center rather than power forward, David Aldridge reports.
- Dan Gartland