Free agency rumors: LaMarcus Aldridge wants to play for the Mavericks?


As one of the high-profile free agents this summer, LaMarcus Aldridge is getting his fair share of publicity and headlines. Unsurprisingly, Aldridge isn’t talking, and neither are President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey and the Portland Trail Blazers.

The latest rumor about Aldridge’s free agency feels weird, to say the least.

We’ve all heard how much of a draw playing at home can be for players later in their career. LeBron James went back to Cleveland because he loves is it so much. Kevin Durant is flattered by Wizards fans begging him to play in Washington D.C. where he was raised.

As we know, Aldridge is a Texas kid. He was born and raised in Dallas, and he played college ball for the University of Texas Longhorns. He likes Texas. We get it.

But, all the rumors surrounding Aldridge suggest he’s set on, or is at least deeply considering, moving back to Texas to play for the Dallas Mavericks. [Record scratch]

You read that correctly, the Dallas Mavericks are thought to be favorites to sign Aldridge, according Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher.

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Trust me, I get the appeal of Texas for Aldridge, but the Mavericks are the last Texas team, Aldridge should want to play for. The San Antonio Spurs, if they could move some money around, should be Plan A. The Houston Rockets should be Plan B. And, the Mavericks should be like Plan G, behind re-signing with the Blazers or signing with just about any other team in the league.

That is not meant disrespectfully toward the Mavericks or their fans, but as far as rosters go, Dallas is in a tough spot because Dirk Nowitzki is getting up there in age, and so is Tyson Chandler, if he re-signs. Chandler Parsons isn’t a star, but he’s a good player. Other than that, there is really nothing there.

Sure, Aldridge could help stretch the defense and add much-needed length to their frontline, but Nowitzki and Aldridge work from the same spots on the court, basically. And, can you imagine if Nowitzki and Aldridge played together? Defensive liability is the first phrase that comes to mind.

On top of the roster issues with Dallas, Portland can pay Aldridge at least $27 million more than Dallas. Is he willing to take that much of a cut to play at home? Even with Texas’ preferrable tax situation, it still is a pay cut.

No one knows what Aldridge is going to do, but I can’t see him signing with Dallas. It just doesn’t make sense, other than Aldridge “playing at home.” The draw of a hometown crowd is often represented as holding more weight than it usually does.

As David MacKay preached last week, we shouldn’t overreact to any rumors unless Aldridge speaks, the Trail Blazers speak, or something actually happens. This is definitely one of those speculation situations.

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