LaMarcus Aldridge was prepped to fill into Tim Duncan’s massive shoes. But after his first season with the San Antonio Spurs, it’s hard to see that happening.
Aldridge is a legitimate all-star capable of averaging 20 and 10 without much effort. But his ISO-centric style of play hasn’t allowed the Spurs sustain the rhythmic offense that helped them reach back-to-back Finals in 2013 and 2014 before a heartbreaking Game 7 loss to the Clippers in 2015.
Is LaMarcus Aldridge a chemistry killer?
As good as Aldridge is, he would probably be more suited to a team that runs ISO plays for him in the post or pick-and-rolls at the top of the key. In a recent interview, Danny Green, the unsung hero of the 2013 and 2014 teams, acknowledged that the team is plagued with chemistry issues. “I think the chemistry (is a worry). We had some different faces since we won (2014 NBA title). A couple of guys left and even after last year we have a different team now. Newer guys, newer system. It’s a different system, different flow. We were changing how we were doing things.”
Indeed. The Spurs were lauded for their motion offense but all that went out of the window to accommodate Aldridge, who has become the focal point of the offense. During the playoff series against Oklahoma City Thunder, which the Spurs lost 4-2, Aldridge went into a funk in Games 3, 4 and 5 in which he shot a mediocre 8/21, 8/18 and 6/21 from the field.
Aldridge was also forced to play a lot of minutes at Center, something that he doesn’t look comfortable doing. Perhaps the Spurs should consider the following trade?
ESPN’s Chad Ford has proposed the following:
Suns send: Brandon Knight, Alex Len, Jon Leuer and picks Nos. 4 and 13
Spurs send: LaMarcus Aldridge, Patty Mills, Jonathan Simmons and No. 29 pick
Why the Spurs do it: Ford reasons: “It’s very tough to break up a team that won 67 games last season. But Father Time is coming for the Spurs.
Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are all slowing down significantly. If they don’t act quickly to retool on the fly, the Spurs could be in for a much longer rebuilding process down the road.
Aldridge was good for them this year, but he doesn’t look good enough to carry this team with Kawhi Leonard. Knight would give them a young, athletic combo-guard who can play both backcourt positions. Len has some real potential in the paint. And those two lottery picks from the Suns should allow San Antonio to add two talented young pieces to its core.
Bender + Dunn: Future assets
If they could walk away with Dragan Bender or Kris Dunn, then the Spurs would have a nice, youthful foundation going forward without having to bottom out. In fact, I think this roster would still be a playoff team in the West,” Ford concluded in his insider article.
The Spurs could hit a home run by acquiring Len, Knight and Dragan Bender (or Marquese Chriss). It would give Duncan and Parker young back-ups to mentor since Father Time is coming.
Traditionally, the Spurs have preferred to build home-grown stars through the Draft. However, they changed the stereotype last year by signing LaMarcus Aldridge to a four-year max deal. Is it time to give up on Aldridge and retool the roster with younger players?
LA's first season in SA was a pretty historic onehttps://t.co/FT92Ii5VXb
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) June 20, 2016