Mavericks a Serious Contender to Land LaMarcus Aldridge?
With the 2015 NBA free agency period right around the corner, rumors are starting to swirl like crazy. One NBA free agency rumor that might not be too insane is Portland Trail Blazers star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge heading home to Texas.
According to Bleacher Report, talk of Ridge returning home to play for the Dallas Mavericks actually has legs. Aldridge has long said he loves Portland from the city to the front office, but years of not advancing far in the playoffs and a less than stellar supporting cast may be taking their toll.
On top of Portland’s inability to take the next step, Aldridge could be yearning to finish out his career back home, where he played college ball at Texas A&M.
The idea behind Ridge to Dallas has Dirk Nowitzki taking on a lesser role – possibly as an offensive spark off the bench. Aldridge would then start at the four spot alongside Tyson Chandler (should the Mavs re-sign him), which would instantly give him his best post-pairing of his career. Should the remainder of the Mavericks stay intact, he’d also have Monta Ellis, Chandler Parsons and J.J. Barea to work with. With Dallas still in the market for a lead point guard after the Rajon Rondo debacle, there could also be a point guard upgrade worked in there to a certain degree.
What Dallas does beyond adding Aldridge isn’t the point. The only thing that matters is they want to land a big fish, and Aldridge is probably the one they have their eye on. That wouldn’t be news, but Aldridge seriously entertaining leaving a comfortable situation for Dallas certainly is.
Aldridge may have to make up his mind between to narratives: loyalty or winning. Money may win out over either in the end, however, as Ridge would be leaving up to $27 million on the table to choose Texas/winning.
While Portland has built a strong playoff team with star point guard Damian Lillard helping out, they saw how bad their depth truly was once balanced shooting guard Wesley Matthews went down with a torn Achilles. Without Matthews, the Blazers struggled immensely with their offensive flow, lost a reliable outside shooter and also saw their defense take a major hit.
With Matthews in free agency and no lock to either be back or be the same player he was before the injury, Aldridge could see the writing on the wall. If that’s true and he bolts for Dallas, he could make the Mavs an instant title contender. Depending on the moves Mark Cuban and co. pull off from there, their chances could get even better.
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