After seemingly falling out of the LaMarcus Aldridge sweepstakes, the Los Angeles Lakers appear to be back in contention to sign the power forward. L.A. had a second meeting with the former Portland Trail Blazer on Thursday night, hoping to sign him to a max contract.
Los Angeles was thought to be one of the favorites to land Aldridge before the start of free agency, but the big man was unimpressed by their presentation on Wednesday. When it appeared that Aldridge had crossed the Lakers off his list, L.A. asked for another chance to sell him on the franchise.
Aldridge felt first meeting with Lakers was too focused on non-basketball (Hollywood, branding, etc) and Lakers want to rectify it.
â€” Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 2, 2015
Aldridge canceled his meeting with the New York Knicks, deciding instead to speak with the Lakers for a second time. He met with at least six teams over the first two days of free agency, and the Miami Heat reportedly tried to make a play for Aldridge, as well.
The San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns are considered to be the most likely destinations for Aldridge. Both have already made trades, putting themselves in a position to give Aldridge a max contract. The Spurs sent Tiago Splitter to the Atlanta Hawks, while the Suns shipped Marcus Morris, Danny Granger and Reggie Bullock off to the Detroit Pistons.
The Houston Rockets reportedly had a good meeting with Aldridge, as well, impressing him with their analytics. After focusing on the other aspects of playing for the Lakers, Los Angeles made sure to concentrate on their basketball plans for Aldridge in their second meeting.
Lakers mtg with LaMarcus today lasted 90 mins. Basketball talk from Kupchak, Byron &Mark Madsen (who handles analytics for coaching staff)
â€” Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 3, 2015
If the Lakers can’t sign Aldridge, it will be another free agent in a long line of players that L.A. has been unable to land. Despite having plenty of money to spend and the No.2 pick in June’s draft, they’ve been unable to sign the likes of Kevin Love and Greg Monroe. It looks like they’ll miss out on DeAndre Jordan, and Robin Lopez appears to have chosen New York over L.A.
Aldridge made his fourth consecutive All-Star team in 2015. He led Portland with 23.4 points and 10.2 rebounds per game.