The Spurs would be better off holding onto power forward LaMarcus Aldridge for another season, Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News opines. Aldridge can opt out of his contract next summer and leave $22.34MM on the table, which would help San Antonio pursue premier free agents, Finger notes. That would probably be preferable to adding players in a trade that would cut into potential cap space, Finger continues. With Aldridge, Kawhi Leonard and free agent acquisition Rudy Gay next season, the Spurs can still make a run at a championship, Finger adds.
In other notable items involving theWestern Conference:
- A trio of Western Conference teams will play Australian National Basketball League teams during the preseason, the NBA announced via press release on Monday. It’s the first time that NBL teams will travel to the U.S. to play against NBA teams. The Sydney Kings will visit the Jazz, Melbourne United will face the Thunder and the Brisbane Bullets will match up against the Suns.
- Alex Abrines‘ health will be closely watched as he joins the Spanish national team for the EuroBasket tournament, which begins Aug. 31st, according to Erik Horne of The Oklahoman. The Thunder swingman received platelet rich plasma injections in his right knee in May. It’s not the first time Abrines has received the injections, as he told Horne he required them “four or five years” ago. The 6’6” Abrines appeared in 68 games last season, averaging 6.0 PPG and 38.1% on 3-point attempts in 15.5 MPG.
- Wesley Matthews is unlikely to be dealt because of salary-cap implications, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News opines. The Mavericks would most likely have to take salary back to trade the shooting guard and they’d like to avoid that in order to pursue notable free agents next summer, Sefko explains. Matthews holds a $18.6MM player option on the 2018/19 season.