Just before Thursday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers on 1/11, Gregg Popovich revealed that Lamarcus Aldridge made it clear over the summer he wasn’t enjoying himself in San Antonio and he wanted out. When a player requests a trade this is usually a sign that their journey on that current team is coming to an end, whether at the end of their contract or via trade by the deadline. This also isn’t the first time LA, has expressed his desire to leave the team. Pop said if they don’t get Durant in exchange then the trade will never happen, but who knows what lies ahead in the future for the big man who just signed a 3 year $72 million extension with the Spurs.
With the current deadline approaching and many teams drawing up different scenarios, here’s one that makes sense and could possibly be beneficial to both teams in the long run.
Atlanta Hawks receive: Lamarcus Aldridge, cash
San Antonio Spurs receive: Ersan Ilyasova, Dewayne Dedmon
With an aging Pau Gasol coming off the bench and having let 7’3 big man Boban go to the Pistons, an unhappy Lamarcus Aldridge is not an ideal situation for the aging San Antonio Spurs who are still contenders for a deep playoff run. With the amount of bigs the Atlanta Hawks have, Lamarcus Aldridge would be an immediate upgrade and relieve some of the tension of the big man rotation here. On the long term aspect, LA would be an ideal big man to run with in some of the Hawks’ best years to come. He would be playing alongside rookie and future NBA star John Collins, who would most likely get to start at the 4 position and receive a significant bump in minutes with the absence of Ersan. This would leave us with Moose and Tyler Cavanaugh to come off the bench at the 4 and 5 spot respectively.
Ersan Ilyasova who has been playing his best brand of basketball as of late will add some good shooting as well as good rebounding and his ability to draw a charge is one I’m certain Coach Pop will take full advantage of. He’s also coming from a similar style of play under Coach Bud and would mesh right into the team in a seamless transition. Dewayne Dedmon who just recently came from the Spurs might even see his role improve on the team after receiving significant minutes and nearly averaging a double-double this season for the Hawks.
While upgrading at the current moment for the Hawks doesn’t appear to be a priority, if it can happen, we’d be fools to let the opportunity pass us by. While being at the bottom of the east at the midway point of the season, this could be the trade to attract more free agents and get a head start on the future success of the team. Aldridge might even embrace a bigger leadership/star role here in Atlanta and would be received/welcomed with open arms. As Phil Veasley stated in Episode 2 of the Atlanta Sports HQ podcast, “We’re not your average bad team.” The turnaround for the Hawks looks to be quick and painless.