The San Antonio Spurs missed the NBA playoffs for the first time in 23 years this season, as they could only muster an 11th-place finish in the Western Conference. The front office has understandably decided to rebuild, as the current roster has already gone as far as it potentially could. The San Antonio Spurs still have two quality NBA players in LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan, who have been a subject of many recent NBA trade rumors. The Spurs need to find their two stars new homes as they look to start from scratch.
It is unlikely they will get equal star power in return, as both LaMarcus Aldridge and DeRozan aren't getting any younger and have contracts that eat up much of the salary cap. Any team looking to trade for either of the two will be unwilling to part with much, as neither player commands high returns. However, the San Antonio Spurs need to get back as many assets as they possibly can.
NBA Trade Rumors: Portland Trail Blazers could be interested in bringing back LaMarcus Aldridge
LaMarcus Aldridge rose to NBA stardom during his time with the Portland Trail Blazers. He spent nine seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers, where he established himself as one of the best players in the NBA in his position. He made the All-Star team four times while in Portland, before leaving for San Antonio to win the NBA championship.
That wasn't to be, as the Spurs only got worse from that point on, losing Kawhi Leonard in the process. The Portland Trail Blazers, on the other hand, have become the stronger of the two teams, as star guard Damian Lillard has blossomed into a superstar.
However, they are still a piece or two short of challenging for the NBA championship. Bringing back LaMarcus Aldridge, who is still an excellent player, could be an idea worth considering.
If such a deal goes through, the San Antonio Spurs must demand Zach Collins in return.
Zach Collins' career statistics
Career points per game - 5.7
Career assists per game - 0.9
Career rebounds per game - 4.0
Career field goal % - 44.4%
Career 3-pt % - 32.4%
The 10th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Zach Collins, is a 6'11" stretch 5 out of Gonzaga. Young Collins has displayed great potential in his three-year-old NBA career so far, and is highly rated by many analysts and scouts alike. However, the 22-year-old's progress has been hampered by persistent injuries.
Collins played only 11 games in the 2019-20 season, courtesy of shoulder and ankle issues. However, he did shoot the three-ball with an efficiency of 37% in those games. Collins is also an excellent rim protector and a good shot-blocker, although his statistics might not suggest the same just yet.
His ceiling is clearly very high, and the San Antonio Spurs could do with a player like him. He's certainly worth taking a risk for, especially because the Spurs need to get as many young players as possible.
NBA Trade Rumors: What else do the San Antonio Spurs receive in this deal?
LaMarcus Aldridge is on a $24 million contract that runs out at the end of the 2020-21 season. Zach Collins, on the other hand, will only be making a little over $5 million next season. So to balance the salaries, Trevor Ariza and his nearly $13 million contract would need to be included, assuming the Trail Blazers opt for their team option. Sharpshooter Rodney Hood might also be required for the trade to go through.
In LaMarcus Aldridge, the Portland Trail Blazers will have a reliable scoring option besides Lillard and CJ McCollum. The Blazers need to try their best to help Lillard get a ring with the franchise, and win-now players like Aldridge could move the needle in their favor.
On the other hand, the San Antonio Spurs get a very talented player in Zach Collins, plus potentially two more solid NBA players they can further trade for more assets.