Tagged in: laMarcus aldridge

LaMarcus Aldridge cleared after heart concerns, re-signing with Brooklyn Nets

After retiring with heart concerns five months ago, seven-time All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge is returning to the Brooklyn Nets on a one-year, $2.6 million deal, his agent, Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports, told ESPN on Friday.

Aldridge, 36, has been medically cleared by a number of doctors — including those both independent and Nets-affiliated — to make a return for his 16th season, Schwartz told ESPN.

“I retired in April based on what I believed was the wisest precautionary decision for my personal health at the time, but further testing and evaluation by several top physicians has convinced the doctors, myself and the Nets that I’m fully cleared and able to return to the rigors of the NBA,” Aldridge told ESPN in a statement.

“I loved my brief time with Brooklyn and am excited to rejoin the team in pursuit of a championship.”

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The Nets have a deep rotation of former All-Star frontcourt players, involving Aldridge, Blake Griffin and Paul Millsap.

ESPN reported Aug. 4 that Aldridge was considering a comeback, and his conversations on a return centered largely on the Nets. Aldridge played five matches with Brooklyn last season after agreeing to a contract buyout with the San Antonio Spurs.

Aldridge experienced an irregular heartbeat during a game versus the Los Angeles Lakers in April, and that soon led to a decision to announce his retirement.

“For 15 years I’ve put basketball first,” Aldridge wrote on Twitter at the time. “And now, it is time to put my health and family first.”

Aldridge signed with the Nets on March 28 after agreeing to a buyout with the Spurs, with whom he had spent the previous 5½ seasons. He played the first nine years of his career with the Portland Trail Blazers.

He has averaged 19.4 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game in his career.

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Spurs LaMarcus Aldridge out for season after shoulder surgery

Seven-time All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge will miss the rest of San Antonio’s season while he recovers from surgery on his right shoulder, a major blow to the Spurs’ postseason probabilities, assuming the season continues as planned.

The Spurs announced Monday that Aldridge had the surgery on April 24, stemming from an injury he suffered in a game at Utah on Feb. 21.

San Antonio is one of the 22 teams will that report to the ESPN Wide Wide Of Sports complex at the Disney campus near Orlando, Florida, starting next month, when the NBA plans to resume its season. The Spurs have been to the playoffs in 22 consecutive campaigns, matching the longest streak in NBA history.

When play resumes, the Spurs will be among four teams — the others being Portland, New Orleans and Sacramento — that are all separated by a half-game in the race for ninth place in the Western Conference and potentially a berth in a play-in series. The gap between those four teams is .010 percentage points. Aldridge played in two more games after getting hurt, including one on March 10, when he scored 24 points in the Spurs’ win over Dallas. The NBA suspended its season the following day because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Aldridge turns 35 next month. He concludes this season averaging 18.9 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.

The Spurs say Aldridge “is expected to be fully cleared for all basketball activities” in time for training camp ahead of next season. Based on the NBA’s current calendar plans, training camps for 2020-21 are likely to start in November.

San Antonio now has very few options to turn to in their frontcourt, and that comes down to a number of poor decisions on their part. During the offseason, they traded future star shooter Davis Bertans to the Washington Wizards in order to create the cap space to sign Marcus Morris, who then reneged on their agreement to join the New York Knicks. Only three days before Aldridge’s injury, the Spurs bought out versatile forward DeMarre Carroll, allowing him to join the Houston Rockets. That will force the Spurs to rely on younger players like Trey Lyles, Luka Samanic and Chimezie Metu. 

If nothing else, that will give San Antonio a glimpse into its future. Aldridge will turn 35 in July, and his contract expires after next season. Aldridge’s days as a superstar for the Spurs were limited as it was. After this injury, both his future and San Antonio’s are in even greater doubt.

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