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Spurs, LaMarcus Aldridge agree to mutually part ways, team working on trade

Spurs big man will not play until the team works out a way to move him or reach a buyout agreement.

LaMarcus Aldridge of the San Antonio Spurs looks on during the game against the Denver Nuggets on January 29, 2021 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. Photos by Logan Riely/NBAE via Getty Images

The San Antonio Spurs and PF LaMarcus Aldridge have agreed to mutually work toward parting ways, head coach Gregg Popovich confirmed to reporters Wednesday night. Aldridge will not be in the lineup Wednesday vs. the Dallas Mavericks and the team is working toward resolution on his request. So this seems like LMA will either be traded or the Spurs will reach a buyout agreement, making him an unrestricted free agent.

Aldridge is in the final year of his contract, which is worth $24 million this season. Because of the high salary, it may be difficult for the Spurs to find a trade for Aldridge. The veteran would also be a high-end rental, so trying to find assets for a pending UFA this offseason may also be tough. San Antonio is working toward a trade, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and is apparently inquiring with multiple teams.

Such a trade could mean the Spurs having to give up additional assets to move Aldridge’s salary. That also may not be the case since Aldridge is clearly the one forcing his way out. The Spurs have injected some youth and Keldon Johnson has really taken off as the starting PF ahead of LMA. It’s hard to see a scenario in which a team gives up assets for a player making $24 million and is a 35-year-old All-Star past his prime. This could mean Aldridge is ultimately bought out. The only teams that would be able to take on Aldridge would be teams who aren’t necessarily in contention.

Aldridge has only played 21 games this season, averaging 13.7 points and 4.5 rebounds over 25.9 minutes. It’s discouraging since Aldridge has started in 18 of those games. He’s dealt with injuries over the past two seasons, which have slowed him down at 35 years old. Aldridge’s situation is similar to Blake Griffin’s in Detroit. Both aging All-Stars looking for a shot at a ring before hanging them up.