Increasing Momentum Toward LaMarcus Aldridge Joining Heat

There’s “increasing momentum” toward LaMarcus Aldridge joining the Heat once he becomes a free agent, reports Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link).

Aldridge technically can’t sign anywhere until after he clears waivers on Saturday evening, but a sought-after player who has received a buyout will often reach a tentative agreement with a new team before he officially reaches the open market.

[RELATED: Spurs buy out LaMarcus Aldridge]

While there’s still a chance that Aldridge and the Heat won’t finalize a deal, many of the team’s beat reporters – including Reynolds, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald and Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (all Twitter links) – are talking as if it’s essentially a done deal.

Meanwhile, Jason Quick of The Athletic reports (via Twitter) that Aldridge won’t be returning to Portland. The Trail Blazers had been viewed as one of Miami’s top competitors for the big man.

It has been an eventful day for the Heat, who reached agreements to acquire Victor Oladipo and Nemanja Bjelica in two separate trades. The team also traded for Trevor Ariza last week, and would still have one open roster spot after adding Aldridge.

While Aldridge isn’t the same player he was when he earned seven All-Star berths for Portland and San Antonio, he was still relatively productive in a part-time role with the Spurs in 2020/21, averaging 13.7 PPG and 4.5 RPG on .464/.360/.838 shooting in 21 games (25.9 MPG). Assuming he officially sign with the Heat, he’ll complement the likes of Bam Adebayo, Ariza, Bjelica, and Precious Achiuwa in the club’s frontcourt.

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