It would behoove Tim Duncan to convince LaMarcus Aldridge to join the Spurs this summer, Buck Harvey of the San Antonio Express-News writes. The Spurs are reportedly at the top of Aldridge’s list. Duncan, 39, would have a more realistic shot at another title playing alongside Aldridge, a native of Texas, if Duncan decides he wants to play next season, Harvey adds. Harvey also speculates that since Aldridge already has a list of teams in May, the star forward conceivably will be on the move.
There’s more from the Western Conference:
- Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard’s intention to seek a maximum contract extension from the team this offseason is a shrewd move and one that makes Portland’s offseason even trickier, John Canzano of the Oregonian opines. Lillard is basically using Aldridge’s free agency as leverage, Canzano writes. If the team says no to Lillard, it seemingly sends a signal to Aldridge that it’s not invested in competing, Canzano adds. As reported last week, Lillard has no plans to consider agreeing to an extension for less than the designated maximum.
- Thunder GM Sam Presti said he was looking for a coach with tactical gumption and Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman writes the executive found one in former Florida coach Billy Donovan. The new coach wants to put an emphasis on unselfish ball movement and a lot of offensive freedom for players, Mayberry adds, which is similar to what the Thunder tried to implement last season before injuries helped derail expectations. More creativity would benefit the Thunder, Mayberry writes, and the consensus among those the reporter interviewed is that Donovan is the man who can add that aspect to the team. Another important part of the hire is that Donovan has solid experience working with players like Russell Westbrook, who is very talented, but has an emotionally charged personality, Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman writes.