By Terrance Turner
March 26, 2021 (Updated April 15, Sept. 3)
Former Spurs star LaMarcus Aldridge has signed a one-year deal with the Brooklyn Nets, according to multiple sources including The Athletic. Basketball agent Jeff Schwartz confirmed the trade to ESPN. It is a one-year “veteran’s minimum” deal, according to reporter Shams Charania.
Aldridge (6’11”, 250 lb.) spent nine seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers and six more with the San Antonio Spurs. He was averaging 13.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, according to Yahoo! Sports. Aldridge, 35, hadn’t played since he agreed to part ways with the Spurs on March 10. Today, the seven-time All-Star signed with the Nets.
This news comes after weeks of wheeling and dealing by the Nets organization. Earlier this month, they signed forward Blake Griffin to a deal. Terms of the deal were not released, but Griffin had stopped playing for the Detroit Pistons in February, seeking a trade. The trade to Brooklyn reunites him with former teammate and friend DeAndre Jordan (both played on the Los Angeles Clippers).
According to the NBA website, Griffin (6’10”, 250 lb) was named Rookie of the Year after his first season of play with the Clippers. He was named an All-Star for five consecutive seasons between 2011-2015. In 2014, Griffin scored 20 points or more a game for 20 consecutive games, according to Bleacher Report. He earned his sixth NBA All-Star selection while averaging a career-best 24.5 points and leading the Pistons to the NBA Playoffs in 2018-19. Griffin joins Grant Hill as the second player in franchise history to average at least 20 points, six rebounds and five assists during his tenure in Detroit.
On Jan. 13, 2021, the Houston Rockets traded star James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets in a massive blockbuster deal. The Rockets received four first-round picks and four pick swaps, all of which came from the Nets — except for a 2022 Milwaukee pick currently owned by Cleveland. Harden, a nine-time All-Star (2013-2021), led the league in scoring for three consecutive years and powered the Rockets to a franchise-best 65 wins in the 2017-18 season.
With these additions, the Brooklyn Nets now have six All-Stars — Aldridge, Griffin, Harden, Jordan, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant — making them the team to beat.
UPDATE: LaMarcus Aldridge is retiring from the NBA.
In a letter posted to social media, Aldridge, 35, revealed that he has a heart condition that has forced him to retire. “My last game, I played while dealing with an irregular heartbeat,” Aldrige wrote. “Later on that night, my rhythm got even worse, which really worried me even more. “The next morning, I told the team what was going on and they were great getting me to the hospital and getting me checked out. Though I’m better now, what I felt with my heart that night was still one of the scariest things I’ve experienced.”
“With that being said, I made the difficult decision to retire from the NBA. For 15 years, I’ve put basketball first, and now, it is time to put my health and family first.” Aldridge thanked his teams (the Portland Trail Blazers, the San Antonio Spurs, and the Brooklyn Nets) and closed his letter with a poignant message. “You never know when something will come to an end, so make sure you enjoy it everyday. I can truly say I did just that.”
UPDATE (Sept. 3, 2021): LaMarcus Aldridge is returning to the NBA. ESPN is reporting that Aldridge has been medically cleared for a return to action, five months after retiring. His agent Jeff Schwartz told ESPN that Aldridge is signing a one-year, $2.6 million deal with the Brooklyn Nets.