Earlier this month, the San Antonio Spurs announced that they would be parting ways with LaMarcus Aldridge by mutual agreement. The news seemingly came out of nowhere, and it actually took a few weeks for the split to finally happen. But after the trade deadline came and went, the two sides agreed to a buyout.
It didn't take long for Aldridge to find a new team, as he joined up with the Brooklyn Nets thanks in part to some recruitment from Kevin Durant. On Tuesday, Aldridge spoke to reporters for the first time since joining his new club, and shared his thoughts on his fit and expectations. Via ESPN:
"I'm not here to be an All-Star. That's not what I'm trying to do. I'm just trying to bring the value, try to bring the things I'm good at and trying to help this team win. I'm not worried about being an All-Star anymore."
"I mean, if you could start, you're always going to start. I think anyone that's competitive will say, yeah, they want that and they're going to fight for that, so I'm definitely trying to do my job and hopefully I get it."
Nets coach Steve Nash also chimed in, saying he's excited about Aldridge's ability to space the floor.
"He has the ability to make 3-pointers, so that opens the floor up," Nash said. "He understands that this is a different role and a different team. I want him to find that natural balance between the way he has traditionally played and the way we play."
Now in his 15th season, Aldridge's best days are behind him, but if there's one thing he's still doing at a high level these days, it's hitting shots from outside. With the Spurs, he was shooting 36 percent from 3-point land, and that makes him by far the best shooting big man on the Nets roster. In addition, Aldridge's simple presence will be important on a squad that is lacking depth in the frontcourt, and has often relied on G-League call-ups and 10-day contract players.
As Aldridge mentioned, he's not showing up to Brooklyn to be a star, and the good news is he doesn't have to be one to have a positive impact on this team. He's going to be a fourth, fifth, maybe even sixth option when everyone's healthy, and the Nets will need him to hit open shots, help space the floor for their main perimeter creators and provide an interior presence.
If Aldridge locks in on those responsibilities, he has a chance to stage one last meaningful act in his impressive career, and possibly end it with his first title.