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NBA Rumors: Spurs Want LaMarcus Aldridge?

Rumors: Spurs may make offer to LaMarcus Aldridge, Jrue Holiday out and more.

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Spurs interested in LaMarcus Aldridge?

Let me be clear, my beloved Portland maniacs: I do not see this happening. Repeat: I do not see this happening. Aldridge isn’t the type to say stuff lightly, so it meant a lot — to everyone — when he declared so emphatically in July that he would sign a new five-year contract this summer and hopefully go down as the “best Blazer ever.”

It’s always wise to take sunny public comments about free agency with a pile of salt, but Aldridge is a bit of a different cat in this regard. Still: I found it interesting that after having heard very little San Antonio/Aldridge talk of any kind, ever, a bunch of unconnected higher-ups suddenly started mentioning it over the last two weeks. Someone said something to start the rumor mill churning, and the Blazers have always considered one of Aldridge’s home-state Texas teams the biggest threat to snag him away.

Via Zach Lowe of Grantland

The thought of losing Aldridge in free agency is a devastating one for the Trail Blazers’ faithful, as he would be quite difficult replace and his departure would likely send them tumbling out of the playoff picture – no offense to Damian Lillard, but you need multiple stars to compete in the Western Conference. Even as strongly as he’s committed to them, verbal commitments only go so far and it’s always worrisome when an attractive, world-class organization like the Spurs is one of your top competitors.

On the flip side, Aldridge would be an incredible fit with San Antonio and help ensure that they remain a contender through the end of Tony Parker’s career. While he may not be the defender that Duncan is, he’s a much better scorer at this point of his career and should benefit greatly from having a quality defensive-minded big man aside him in Tiago Splitter and the Spurs’ defensive system.

The Spurs have also been mentioned in association with Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol. The Spurs are not known for giving out max contracts in the free agent market, but that’s what it would require to lure away Aldridge or Gasol. They’ll be at a financial disadvantage in their pursuit of both as their current teams have their Bird rights and the ability to offer a fifth year that the Spurs cannot.

Bucks eventually going to buyout Larry Sanders?

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo reported over the weekend that the Bucks had not yet discussed a potential buyout with Sanders, but most league sources expect the discussion to eventually go that direction.

Via Zach Lowe of Grantland

The last few weeks have been a bumpy ride for Sanders. He took some time away from the team to handle some personal matters, and while he was gone reports surfaced that he didn’t want to play anymore. Shortly after he refuted those claims, he failed a drug test for marijuana for the fourth time in his career, earning a 10 game suspension.

Sanders is likely going to miss more time than that as he tries to get right off the court, but the Bucks are understandably frustrated. A buyout for someone with $33 million remaining on his contract after this year is somewhat unlikely because it will be hard to agree to. What’s more probably is the Bucks using the stretch provision on Sanders, which would spread of the remaining $33 million on deal over the next seven season. The big increase in the cap would make paying Sanders $4.7 million over the next seven easier to justify, especially if they feel like they’ve reached the point of no return with him.

Sanders is too talented to not get another shot. This is a league of second chances (nevermind that Sanders is on his fourth failed drug test, this would be the first time he actually found himself out of the league) and Sanders is talented enough to take a flier on. But, his mental health is the most paramount issue at stake here. He can figure out his playing career afterwards. Meanwhile, the Bucks are doing just fine without him and it’s not like they are rushed to make a decision since they’re going to have more cap room than they can effectively spend anyway, even with Sanders’ deal.

Jrue Holiday out 2-4 weeks

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that guard Jrue Holiday is expected to miss the next 2-4 weeks. Additional tests by team physicians yesterday revealed that Holiday developed a stress reaction in his right lower leg. Holiday will be held out of basketball activities until his symptoms improve and will be re-evaluated each week.
In 37 games this season, Holiday averaged 15.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 7.1 assists in 33.7 minutes per game. The 6-4 guard holds career averages of 13.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 6.1 assists in 369 contests.

Via NBA Press Releases

The backup point guard position has been a major weakness for the Pelicans all season long. With Holiday out up to the next month potentially, Dell Demps’ hands could be forced in trying to make a move to help address the need more seriously. They’ve tried a couple of different veteran guards on 10-day contracts, but with the playoff race in the Western Conference being so tight, the team cannot rely on them as a starter in Holiday’s absence. They need a more permanent solution now.

Yannis Koutroupis is Basketball Insiders' Managing Site Editor and Senior Writer. He has been covering the NBA and NCAA for seven years.

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