Free Agency Domino Effect 2018: Could Aldridge return to Portland?
The LeBron James Effect
Even though the pre-free agency rumors are reports have been in full swing this past week, the start of free agency technically starts Sunday at 12:01 a.m. EDT in the East and 9:01 p.m. on Saturday night out here in the West.
Now the big questions is when LeBron James makes his 2018 “decision” what kind of domino effect will that have on the league and what kind of effect could it have on the Western Conference?
LeBron was reportedly spotted in LA early Saturday afternoon.
What about teaming up with Kawhi?
The Spurs have big decisions to make about Kawhi Leonard, who has made it clear he wants out of San Antonio—
1. They can gamble and keep him for the final year of his contract
2. Trade him elsewhere now
Here’s something to keep in mind, the Lakers will have about $61 million in cap space and they have enough cap space to acquire two max deals depending on what happens to Luol Deng’s contract.
Watch out Western Conference
We can’t forget about the Paul George sweepstakes.
Earlier this week, George reportedly told the Thunder he is opting out of his contract and will become an unrestricted free agent.
In an ESPN special, George expressed that he isn’t ruling out a return to OKC or a move back to his hometown of LA.
So… for Blazer fans, you have to imagine playing this very different looking Lakers team four times in the regular season…
If Kawhi leaves, what will LaMarcus do?
Yes, with all the Los Angeles rumors, it seems the West is going to be very different next season. What will happen to Kawhi’s All-Star running mate, LaMarcus Aldridge if Leonard does get traded?
It’s hard to imagine Aldridge wanting to stay put in San Antonio, especially if the Spurs were to trade for young building blocks like Brandon Ingram or Markelle Fultz.
All of this really has the making of reunion between LaMarcus and Portland.
Would you welcome LA back to Portland?
Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News tweeted out this week, “I know for a fact” Portland would welcome Aldridge back.
Aldridge’s rocky relationship with Gregg Popovich and the Spurs has been talked about plenty over the last year and LA was even on the trading block last summer. And, then there were the reports that Aldridge called Damian Lillard to see if Neil Olshey would be interested in bringing him back to Rip City.
With all of that in mind, who will be able to win over LA this time?
Buckle up you guys, NBA summer 2018 is going to be very interesting.