LaMarcus Aldridge is REALLY enjoying being the most coveted free agent on the market. LMA has now met with the Lakers, Spurs, Rockets, Suns, Raptors and scheduled the Knicks.
It’s not unusual to take this much time to make a decision, but unless you’re LeBron James circa 2010, it’s insane how many meetings Aldridge is taking, let alone how many teams he’s allowed to remain in the running.
Just this morning it sounded like it was down to the Spurs and the surprise Suns. To the point that Phoenix even felt it was the favorites.
Phoenix has traded Marcus Morris, Reggie Bullock and Danny Granger to Detroit for future picks, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 2, 2015
The Suns have cleared $20M in salary cap space, allowing them to potentially sign LaMarcus Aldridge without the need for a sign-and-trade. — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 2, 2015
And as soon as the Suns news breaks, what does Aldridge do? Opens the door right back up.
Suns have no assurance that Aldridge will sign, but the fact that he’s suddenly so intrigued has motivated them to push hard.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 2, 2015
LaMarcus Aldridge is considering the possibility of taking a visit or two in free agency, sources tell Yahoo. No decision is imminent. — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 2, 2015
I assume Woj is talking unplanned additional visits here (and the teams will blow you away). Phoenix must be chomping away at their finger nails by now.
We all thought the Lakers were out of the running. Aldridge’s camp even reportedly released that the Lakers just didn’t impress LMA.
The second meeting with L.A. came at a price … bye, Knicks!
The Lakers will get a second meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge today in Los Angeles, league source tells Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 2, 2015
Oh, and also bye, Kobe …
Knicks meeting was cancelled once it became clear NY wanted Aldridge to play center, something he is adamant against doing, per source.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 2, 2015
The second meeting with the Lakers will only involve GM Mitch Kupchak and Coach Byron Scott, & will only be about basketball, per source. — David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 2, 2015
Welp, time to think that one over again. Because the Lakers are going back to the drawing board and will be bringing the heat this time around. No BS, all basketball this time. But speaking of the Heat …
Yahoo Sources: Another high-profile team is pursuing the possibility of gaining an audience with LaMarcus Aldridge: The Miami Heat. — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 2, 2015
WHAT!!?? Get out of here. Seriously, get out of here, Miami. You’ve had you’re time. What does this even mean? How would the Heat do this?
Would they offer Chris Bosh in a sign-and-trade to the Blazers?
Would they considering signing LMA and kicking Dwyane Wade to the curb?
Could they come up with something crazy that I don’t even know about? (Unlikely, but I won’t put it past Pat Riley). The best idea I have for this is start by clearing Luol Deng’s $10 million, then scrape of some of the smaller contracts off the books. It wouldn’t be easy, but I’d imagine the plan here would be to get LMA with Bosh, Wade and Dragic — and remember that big man Hassan Whiteside broke out last season as well.
I’d imagine this is going to be a pretty nice meal.
Dinner with Riley, sources say, will come AFTER LaMarcus Aldridge has his afternoon briefing with Laker GM Mitch Kupchak & coach Byron Scott — Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 2, 2015
So many questions. But the bottom line is that this is the most nuts free agent chase I can recall in the NBA aside from LeBron. It’s going to be very exciting to see where Aldridge lands after all of this. He seems to have the basketball world at his finger tips, and the luxury of picking between multiple contenders to pay him top dollar. Well done.
Updates to follow as made available, of course.
Find me on Twitter @julianedlow