Recently bought-out free agent big man LaMarcus Aldridge is set to chat with several reputable playoff contenders soon. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports tweets that the Heat, Lakers, Clippers and Nets are all expected to have a chance to woo the 35-year-old former All-Star.
A report earlier today suggested there was “increasing momentum” toward Aldridge ending up in Miami, and Haynes confirmed the Heat are the favorites, but it sounds like no decision has been made yet.
Before the Spurs agreed to shut him down ahead of a trade or buyout, Aldridge had lost his starting center role to Jakob Poeltl in his least productive season since his rookie year. He is averaging 13.7 PPG and 4.5 RPG across 21 games this season.
Aldridge is not the only decorated veteran big man looking for new digs. Haynes tweets that former All-Star center Andre Drummond, still working towards his own buyout with the Cavaliers, will talk with some of the same clubs as he considers his own next steps. The Knicks, Celtics, Hornets, Lakers, and Clippers are the teams that will have an audience with the 27-year-old former All-Star.
Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer tweets that “a lot of uncertainty” surrounds this next move for Drummond. Several of these clubs can offer vastly different roles and salaries based on their current rosters and cap situations.
Drummond, averaging a stellar 17.5 PPG and 13.5 RPG for Cleveland, seems likely to enjoy the best combination of money and opportunity on the Knicks and Hornets. The Hornets especially have long needed a major upgrade at center. However, the Lakers have been viewed as the frontrunner for the big man.