The NBA world was shaken after yet another All-Star, LaMarcus Aldridge, decided to sign with the Brooklyn Nets. On March 28th, Aldridge announced that he plans to sign with the Nets after the San Antonio Spurs agreed to a buyout with him.
Several fans and analysts took to social media to give their two cents about how this might affect the Brooklyn Nets lineup and, more importantly, how it affects competition in the league.
Pros and cons of signing LaMarcus Aldridge
LaMarcus Aldridge played in just 21 games with the San Antonio Spurs this season and averaged career-lows in most categories. However, many have made the argument that Aldridge simply did not have the will to play on a team he had no future with.
Now that he is with a title-contending side, he will flourish and his averages will improve.
With the situation going either way, let's take a look at the various arguments for and against the Brooklyn Nets signing LaMarcus Aldridge.
Why signing LaMarcus Aldridge helps the Brooklyn Nets
The sheer All-Star talent alone makes the Brooklyn Nets favorites to win the championship this season.
Although the numbers are low considering his standards, LaMarcus Aldridge still contributed an average of 13.7 points and 4.5 rebounds a game for the Spurs. These numbers are for a team he reportedly had no interest in playing with.
Given the right number of minutes and a defined role on the team, he can be really beneficial for the Brooklyn Nets.
Chris Broussard from FOX Sports spoke about how the Nets would benefit with Aldridge in the lineup.
"They improved big time...they gave themselves more depth, they were already deep, now they have more depth and more versatility. They can play big, they can play small...we know LaMarcus Aldridge isn't what he used to be...however, he is still a very capable scorer and interior defender."
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, LaMarcus Aldridge is "expected to see a significant amount of his minutes" at center. He is traditionally listed as a forward.
However, league teams now have an affinity to play small-ball for a more fast-paced offensive set-up. Aldridge has been increasingly playing the 5 position for the past few years.
Broussard went on to explain how the Brooklyn Nets' small-ball lineup has particularly improved, given Aldridge will replace Jeff Green as the new small-ball center.
"[LaMarcus Aldridge] has actually improved his range from the midrange out to the three-point line so what that does for the Nets is it allows them to...play super big if they want or go small. Their most effective offensive lineup has been small ball with Jeff Green at Center but that's a problem defensively, now you put LaMarcus Aldridge out there. Unlike [Nicolas] Claxton, who has played well for them, Aldridge can keep the floor spread and be out at the perimeter and then he's a very good interior defender at the rim. So that gives the Nets a very potent small ball lineup on both sides of the floor."
Why LaMarcus Aldridge's signing makes no difference to the Brooklyn Nets
The Brooklyn Nets have one of the most star-studded and stacked lineups in NBA history. The issue the team is facing is figuring out the right rotations and roles for everyone on the roster.
Chris Broussard, as complimentary as he was about Aldridge joining the Brooklyn Nets, admitted that coach Steve Nash has to "figure out how, when, and where [he's] playing guys".
Nick Wright was on the popular sports show "First Things First" with Broussard and refuted his comments, suggesting that Aldridge's signing makes no impact on the Brooklyn Nets' lineup and could possibly make them worse. He said,
"[Broussard] said [Aldridge is] a more than capable rim protector, I dont think we have any evidence of that all season long, maybe he'll be someone different. The reason that I think Aldridge could be more problem than solution and I think it's probably neither [or net zero] is that you now have a first time head coach who has three former All-Stars on the roster, all of whom expect to play, none of whom help you...The Nets never had a talent issue, now you are adding guys who I think are going to expect roles who don't need roles."
Wright makes a solid point about the Brooklyn Nets' lineup being a little too star-studded to use. All of the Nets' All-Stars cannot expect a lot of playing time and high usage. Aldridge is also 35 years old and might see some increasingly low minutes making his addition practically useless.
Nick Wright also put to light the circumstances under which LaMarcus Aldridge left the Spurs and why that is important when determining his value,
"I also think it is telling and it is instructive that the Spurs are trying to make the playoffs and they bought him out. Buyout guys are usually, more the Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond sort, meaning expensive guys on terrible teams. Aldridge is interesting because the Spurs are in the playoffs right now and they basically told him weeks ago, 'You can go home, you're not going to play anymore this season because you are not helping us.'"
As mentioned earlier, he is averaging career-lows in most categories this season. Aldridge is also 35 years old and it is entirely possible that he brings nothing to the table for the Brooklyn Nets and his contributions are negiligible.
With LaMarcus Aldridge yet to make his debut with the Brooklyn Nets, we all just have to wait and see how this signing pans out.