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Report: Celtics, Blazers expected to be in on LaMarcus Aldridge

The Spurs are working to find a trade partner or buy out the veteran big man.

LaMarcus Aldridge of the San Antonio Spurs watches his three as does Willy Hernangomez of the New Orleans Pelicans in the first half at AT&T Center on February 27, 2021 in San Antonio, Texas. Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

The San Antonio Spurs and PF LaMarcus Aldridge came to an agreement last week to part ways. As a result, the Spurs are looking for potential trade partners and may have to explore a buyout with Aldridge. The Boston Celtics, Portland Trail Blazers and Miami Heat are expected to be the lead contenders to land Aldridge in a trade or via buyout market, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Monday.

Aldridge has spent the past six season with San Antonio. The 7-time All-Star hasn’t played well this season while dealing with injuries. The Spurs have also made it clear they want to get younger players minutes and Aldridge has been left behind. He’s only averaging 13.7 points and 4.5 rebounds over 21 games this season.

The Celtics make a lot of sense for Aldridge. Boston doesn’t have much experience in the front court behind Tristan Thompson and Daniel Theis. Neither of those two bigs can stretch the floor — LMA has evolved his game the past two seasons and has shot the ball OK from beyond the arc. Aldridge is on an expiring contract worth $24 million. It would be interesting to see if the Celtics could swing a trade. Adding LMA after a buyout seems more likely.

Aldridge could go back home to Portland, where he spent the first nine seasons of his career. Aldridge made four All-Star teams while with the Blazers and averaged 19.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game in Portland. The Trail Blazers lost Zach Collins for the season and Jusuf Nurkic has been sidelined since January. Portland has been running small lineups with Robert Covington at the 4. Carmelo Anthony and Enes Kanter are the other two healthy bodies in the front court, so adding LMA would provide depth and experience. Aldridge would also be a nice locker room boost. Damian Lillard and Aldridge played together for three seasons.