San Antonio Spurs reportedly shopping LaMarcus Aldridge for top-10 pick

The San Antonio Spurs are known for making some particularly shrewd moves on NBA Draft night. As they try to keep pace with the rest of the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference hierarchy, the Spurs may be looking to deal one of their All-Stars to do so.

According to Ramona Shelburne and Michael C. Wright of ESPN.com, the Spurs are offering up forward LaMarcus Aldridge in trades to try and land a top-10 pick in tonight’s NBA Draft:

The San Antonio Spurs, in pursuit of a top-10 pick in Thursday’s NBA draft, have spoken to at least three teams about a possible trade involving power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, sources confirmed to ESPN.

Aldridge’s contract contains a player option after the 2017-18 season, and he declined to address the situation when asked specifically by ESPN about it during the playoffs.

For the Spurs, working to consummate a trade now is more advantageous than potentially losing Aldridge after next season with no compensation in return.

“He can opt out in a year,” Spurs general manager R.C. Buford told ESPN last month. “There’s a point in time that we’ll have to address what’s next. At that time, we’ll deal with it. As you build a team, you make decisions along the way.”

As of Thursday morning, the Spurs have the No. 29 pick in the first round and a second-round selection (No. 59 overall).

Arizona Sports 98.7 first reported that the Spurs were talking to teams about an Aldridge trade.

Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News corroborates the ESPN report and has the names of some of the teams San Antonio may be talking trade with:

Multiple league sources have informed the Express-News the Spurs are exploring the trade market, hoping to find a deal to unload Aldridge, who will turn 32 next month.

“They feel it’s time to move on,” a source told the Express-News.

Considered the best free agent signing of 2015, Aldridge signed a four-year, $84 million deal with the Spurs. He’s scheduled to make roughly $21 million next season.

Various reports suggest the Spurs are trying to obtain a top-five pick in Thursday’s NBA draft, using Aldridge for either Phoenix’s No. 4 pick or the No. 5 spot held by Sacramento. But the Kings apparently have no interest in trading the fifth pick.

A league source told the Express-News that Portland Trail Blazers would execute a trade for Aldridge to reunite him with star Damian Lillard. Aldridge, who played nine seasons in Portland, but left the Blazers in 2015 to sign with the Spurs. The Blazers haven’t closed the door completely on a possible return. The team would be willing to complete a trade for Aldridge for matching salary only, according to a league source.

The Blazers do have three first-round picks in the draft, starting with the No. 15 selection, as well as No. 20 and 26.

Aldridge has endured up and downs in his two seasons with the Spurs. He averaged 17.3 points and a career-low 7.3 rebounds last season, while hearing rumors of him being unhappy with his fit in the Spurs’ system. Aldridge also overcame a minor heart arrhythmia, suffered in March, but didn’t miss significant time.

Aldridge had a solid Game 1 against the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals, finishing with 28 points, seven rebounds and three assists, but struggled in the remaining three games.

With Kawhi Leonard (ankle) and Tony Parker (ruptured quad tendon) sidelined, the Warriors made it tough for Aldridge, double teaming him almost every time he touched the ball. He finished the series averaging 11.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and shot 38.5 percent from the field in the last three games, as the Spurs were swept.