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Could Bulls have interest in Aldridge if he returns to NBA?

/ by K.C. Johnson
Presented By Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich
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Could LaMarcus Aldridge come full circle?

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Wednesday that Aldridge, 36, is "seriously considering a return to the NBA."

The seven-time All-Star retired from the Nets in mid-April with heart concerns. But Wojnarowski said that, while Aldridge hadn't made a final decision, he reached this consideration after medical consultation.

Before Aldridge's retirement, league chatter existed that the Chicago Bulls might pursue him this offseason. The Bulls, of course, once briefly owned the draft rights to Aldridge, which they traded to the Trail Blazers in 2006 for the rights to Tyrus Thomas.

And, of course, this chatter existed before Bulls management completely revamped the roster. So, like Aldridge, the status is up in the air.

However, Aldridge could make sense as a veteran presence and reserve scorer who likely would return on a minimum contract. He would only add to the Bulls' frontcourt depth chart, which currently consists of Nikola Vučević, Tony Bradley, Patrick Williams and 2020 second-round pick Marko Simonović.

Lauri Markkanen's status also remains unresolved, although sources said a sign-and-trade resolution is still more likely than him signing his one-year qualifying offer of just over $9 million and playing next season for the Bulls. The Spurs showed interest in Markkanen before Thad Young ultimately replaced him in the sign-and-trade transaction that will net DeMar DeRozan. The Bulls haven’t engaged in long-term contract talks since the two sides couldn’t agree on an extension before last season, and Markkanen is seeking long-term security. The Timberwolves remain a sign-and-trade possibility.

 

As for Aldridge: After being bought out by the Spurs in March, he appeared in five games for Brooklyn, averaging 12.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists while shooting 52.1 percent from the field and 4-for-5 from 3-point range. One of those games — an 11-point, 3-rebound, 3-block effort — came in a loss to the Bulls in the United Center on April 4.

RELATED: Bulls free agency: Grading sign-and-trade for DeMar DeRozan

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