The San Antonio Spurs yesterday announced that they have signed forward LaMarcus Aldridge. According to the San Antonio Express-News blog, “Aldridge is expected to have signed a four-year max contract starting at roughly $20 million per season.”
This is one of the biggest signings of the summer. It helps keep the Spurs in the hunt for another NBA championship before Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili’s time in the league wraps up. It was also yet another huge blow to a Portland Trail Blazers team that recently saw most of their starting lineup disappear.
Aldridge, 6-11/260, joins the Silver and Black after spending his first nine NBA seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers. Last year he was named to the All-NBA Second Team, averaging a career-high 23.4 points to go along with 10.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 71 games while shooting .466 (659-1,415) from the field, .352 (37-105) from three-point range and .845 (306-362) from the foul line.
In 2014-15, Aldridge recorded 31 games with 20-or-more points and 10-or-more rebounds (third in NBA). He finished the season as one of only three players (DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis) to be ranked in the NBA’s Top-10 in both scoring (7th) and rebounding (T-8th). The Texas native led the NBA in field goals made last season (659) and his 39 double-doubles ranked ninth in the NBA. Aldridge is the only player in the league to average at least 23.0 points and 10.0 rebounds in each of the last two seasons.
Originally drafted by the Chicago Bulls with the second overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, Aldridge was dealt to Portland in a draft-night trade. The nine-year NBA veteran has been named to the All-NBA Team three times (Second Team in 2015, Third Team in 2011 and 2014), earned All-Rookie First Team honors in 2007 and has been selected as an All-Star four times (2012-2015).
In 648 regular season NBA games Aldridge has averaged 19.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.02 blocks in 35.5 minutes. He departs Portland as the Trail Blazers all-time leader in rebounds (5,434), second in points (12,562) and fourth in games played (648) and blocked shots (658). His 234 double-doubles also rank first all-time in Trail Blazers history.
The 29-year-old has appeared in 34 playoff games, averaging 22.1 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.79 blocks and 1.6 assists in 40.4 minutes.
Prior to his NBA career, Aldridge spent two seasons at the University of Texas (2004-06). He was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of The Year and to the All-Big 12 First Team as a sophomore and as a freshman led the country in field goal percentage (.663). In 53 career games with the Longhorns he averaged 13.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.83 blocks and 1.26 steals while shooting .597 percent from the field.