SAN ANTONIO — Gregg Popovich announced before the Spurs' first game after the All Star break that LaMarcus Aldridge was healthy, not with the team, and they had mutually agreed to part ways and explore opportunities to move him to another team.
The seven-time All Star, now 35, changed his game to more of a complimentary style with mixed results, but he struggled to stay healthy and regressed noticeably on defense before being moved to the bench. He's currently on the last year of his deal worth $24 million, and San Antonio is reportedly exploring trades on multiple fronts.
"LaMarcus is not with the team. He's healthy in that respect, but we've mutually agreed to work on some opportunities for him, and that'll be elsewhere. He won't be with the team moving forward," Popovich said. "He's been a great teammate, there's no problem there, we just think this is a win-win for both LaMarcus and for the club. When an opportunity arises, that will be up to management, his agent, that sort of thing, and we'll all move forward."
"He's been a great teammate, he's done everything that we've asked, and at this point we'd just like to do something that will work for him as much as for our club, because he deserves that," Popovich said.
Aldridge was usurped in the starting lineup by Jakob Poeltl, who signed a three-year contract worth $27 million to stay in San Antonio. He joined the team as a free agent in 2015, and in 2017 asked Popovich for a trade before they sorted things out.
Aldridge has said in the past that he'd like to finish his career in San Antonio or Portland. There may be a contender or two willing to add him as a veteran scorer off the bench. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, there's confidence that a deal will get done, and this isn't moving toward a buyout.