Two Texas teams are reportedly interested in free agent LaMarcus Aldridge, with the Dallas Mavericks having the edge over the rival San Antonio Spurs in signing the big man away from the Portland Trail Blazers.
Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report claims, citing unnamed league sources, that the Mavericks are the “biggest threat” to lure Aldridge away from Portland, the big man’s team since he entered the league in 2006.
Aldridge, who averaged a double-double -- 23.4 points and 10.2 rebounds -- in the 2014-2015 season, is considered one of the prized free agents in the upcoming offseason.
"LaMarcus feels, as all great players do, that wherever he goes he'll have a great chance," Bucher quoted his source saying. "But don't think about this as what makes the most sense. He feels he's been in Portland a long time and that maybe it's time for a change. That's what is driving this."
Aldridge was born in Dallas and played his high school and college basketball at Seagoville in Dallas and the University of Texas in Austin, respectively. Aldridge’s link to Texas is seen as one of the reasons the big man is considering signing with either the Spurs or the Mavericks.
Both Texas teams have the ability to shed salary to make room for Aldridge, who is expected to demand the maximum salary.
For Dallas, they are expected to let go of free agent Rajon Rondo, who has had some issues with the team, particularly run-ins with head coach Rick Carlisle.
Depending on what they do with the contract of Tyson Chandler ($13.85 million), whose contract expires this season and the contract options on Chandler Parsons ($15.36 million) and Monta Ellis ($8.36 million), the Mavericks could go below the salary cap to make room for Aldridge.
For San Antonio, they have the expiring contracts of Tim Duncan ($10.12 million), who is expected to return to the Spurs if he does not retire; Manu Ginobili ($7.25 million), Danny Green ($3.76 million) and Kawhi Leonard ($2.08 million). Of the last three, only Leonard is expected to sign a big contract with the Spurs.