LaMarcus Aldridge is set to hit the open free agency market this coming offseason, and there are quite a few teams that will be in the running to sign him. He has been the Portland Trail Blazers‘ franchise leader for quite a few years now, and losing him would be a very tough blow for them.
Bleacher Report seems to believe that the Dallas Mavericks could be the team to lure him away from Portland, and it would be a perfect fit for both parties if they did.
Mark Cuban has always been known as an aggressive owner, and he showed that same aggressiveness this past season. He went out and acquired Rajon Rondo in a big trade with the Boston Celtics, and then backed that move up with the signing of Amar’e Stoudemire after the New York Knicks chose to buy him out. It would be a Cuban-like move to go all out to sign Aldridge when free agency opens up.
During the 2014-15 season with the Trail Blazers, Aldridge ended up averaging 23.4 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. He shot 46.6 percent from the floor overall and improved his three-point percentage to 35.2 percent. Those numbers prove exactly why he is going to be one of the most sought after free agents this offseason.
Dallas could use the 29-year-old power forward immediately alongside of Dirk Nowitzki in the frontcourt. They could also use him long term, as Nowitzki isn’t going to be playing for too many more years.
There are obvious similarities between Aldridge and Nowitzki’s game, and having both of them on the court at the same time would be a nightmare for opposing defenses. Not many teams have two big men as offensively skilled as Nowitzki and Aldridge, who both have the capability of stepping out behind the three-point arc. It would make Dallas an even more dangerous offensive unit and would give head coach Rick Carlisle quite a few more options with his rotations.
Signing Aldridge would take a large chunk of money for the Mavericks. He is going to be looking for a long-term deal with maximum money, and it could signal the end of Monta Ellis in Dallas. Losing Ellis would be acceptable if they are able to sign Aldridge, although they could be risking losing out on both players if they wait too long in the Aldridge sweepstakes.
Making the move for Aldridge would also signify the Mavericks changing their offensive system. The Mavs played a very fast tempo last season, but they would have to slow things down a bit in order to take full advantage of the two star big men.
Looking into the future, the Mavericks would be setting themselves up to keep a similar style long term. Nowitzki will be entering his 18th NBA season in 2015-16, and there simply isn’t much basketball left in him. He could play another couple years, but after that the future is extremely murky. Aldridge would protect them even after Nowitzki leaves and is the perfect player to receive the torch when the towering German does decide to call it a career.
While it isn’t going to be easy to convince Aldridge to leave Portland and choose the Mavs over any other potential suitor, the two parties are a match made in heaven. Aldridge would be able to play his game in Dallas, while also being given a better chance to compete for a championship. Dallas would be getting the missing piece that they desperately needed last year and would immediately become one of the title favorites in the Western Conference.