Amid an National Basteball Association free agency period when apparently anything goes, the Miami Heat apparently are going for the fences, the latest team to be linked to a run at Portland Trail Blazers power forward LaMarcus Aldridge.
After an unsuccessful first meeting with Aldridge, in which he disliked the basketball part of the presentation, the Los Angeles Lakers will get another opportunity to try and tempt the four-time All-Star.
The NBA’s new year began at 12:01 a.m. ET Wednesday. The pitch probably focused on what Los Angeles has to offer and not the prospect of success with the Lakers because of how far they are for contending for anything. Aldridge also scheduled meetings with the Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns and Toronto Raptors, league sources told ESPN.com.
It was unclear whether Aldridge was still open to the possibility of joining the Lakers.
Aldridge, who turns 30 this month, has been with Portland for all nine of his National Basteball Association seasons and made a career-high $14.1 million previous year. No decision is considered imminent.
Tomorrow Jordan will meet with the Knicks (similar situation as the Lakers in regards to talent and immediate ceiling with Jordan in the fold), followed by a meeting with the Clippers.
ESPN’s Royce Young reported that a source said that the market for players has been “surprising” and Green is looking for a deal that is in line with the five-year, $70 million deal the Milwaukee Bucks reportedly gave Khris Middleton.
With numerous big name free agents signing with other teams, the Lakers will have to look elsewhere. Leonard averaged 16.5 points this season and won the Defensive Player of the Year award and will accompany Duncan, coach Gregg Popovich and GM R.C. Buford to a meeting with Aldridge on Wednesday.
Jimmy Butler and Mike Dunleavy also stayed put in Chicago for around $115 million combined, and Goran Dragic is remaining in Miami. The Heat would have to shed significant contracts and players to clear enough room to make a maximum contract offer to Aldridge or work with the Blazerson a sign-and-trade likely involving Chris Bosh, which would be a complicated long shot.
That said, it still another chance for the Lakers to make their pitch to Aldridge to join the team this offseason on a max contract of four-years, $80 million. “Sure our team feels the same!”
The last two seasons have seen the likes of Carmelo Anthony, who chose the New York Knicks over the Lakers, and Pau Gasol who chose to leave the Lakers for the Chicago Bulls out of frustration with the direction of the team.