ESPNFive-time All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge has reached an agreement on a three-year, $72.3 million contract extension with the San Antonio Spurs, league sources told ESPN. The extension will keep Aldridge, 32, under contract with the Spurs through the 2020-21 season. It includes a partially guaranteed salary in the deal’s final season, league sources told ESPN. Only $7 million is guaranteed in the final year of the extension, league sources told ESPN’s Zach Lowe.
It was a summer of shocking moves in the NBA, but one of the most interesting things has been the San Antonio Spurs, and trying to figure out what the hell they are doing. The Spurs spent the entire offseason shopping big man LaMarcus Aldridge, but could not find any takers, after Aldridge had an up and down season in which he was often in head coach Greg Popovich’s doghouse. Then shockingly, on the eve of the season the Spurs signed LaMarcus Aldridge to a three year extension worth $72 million dollars, but with only $7 million guaranteed in year three this is essentially a two year deal. LaMarcus Aldridge is 32-years-old, so he is under contract with the Spurs until he is 35-years-old, luckily he does play an “old man style” game which should translate to the twilight years of his career. While Aldridge has had his effort questioned, and he does not give maximum effort every night anymore, he can flat out score in the half court which still makes him valuable in the Spurs system.
The Spurs are in a strange position from a roster construction standpoint, they have one of the best players in the league in Kawhi Leonard, a star in his prime. However for the next two years, Kawhi Leonard will be flanked by 39-year-old Pau Gasol who signed a two year contract extension this summer, 32-year-old Aldridge, 31-year-old Rudy Gay who signed a two year contract with the Spurs as a free agent this summer and is coming off a major injury. The Spurs also have 40-year-old Manu Ginobili and 35-year-old Tony Parker in their backcourt, so I guess the plan is try to contend in the loaded west with a bunch of old guys for the next two years, then dump their contracts all at once in the summer of 2019 and spend big on stars to join Kawhi Leonard.
Will the Spurs two year plan work? Will they contend for another title with this elderly roster? I can’t see it, but you cannot totally discount it, because they’re the Spurs.