The San Antonio Spurs announced on Tuesday that LaMarcus Aldridge signed a three-year extension with the team. While the Spurs did not release details of the five-time All-Star's extension, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Monday that the deal is worth $72.3 million.
ESPN's Zach Lowe reports that the final year of the extension includes a partial guarantee of $7 million.
Wojnarowski also noted that San Antonio discussed trade scenarios with teams centered on Aldridge before the draft and during the summer, but that they never found an offer that intrigued them enough to make a deal, according to league sources.
So why are the Spurs betting on Aldridge now, and do they plan to use him as a building block or as a trade piece?
Lowe gave his analysis of the situation on Tuesday's edition of The Lowe Post podcast, saying that the extension reflects the organization's desire to win a title while Kawhi Leonard is at his peak.
"The Spurs are betting this knowable quantity of LaMarcus Aldridge gives them a better chance of winning the title in Kawhi Leonard’s prime, which is right now," said Lowe. "And you can laugh at them, but that’s what they’re doing. They’re betting the status quo is their best shot, if someone on the Warriors sprains their ankles.
"They’re also betting -- and this is where it’s going to be interesting -- that Aldridge under this deal is more tradeable than he was if he were to opt into his contract."
Had an extension not been signed, Aldridge would have had a $22 million option for the 2018-19 season, a decision that had people around the league buzzing prior to news of the deal.
As for the forward's trade value, Lowe remains skeptical.
"Aldridge is 32, he’s declining, he has absolutely no purpose on a rebuilding team. No reason a rebuilding team or even a middle-of-the-road team would trade for him."
Aldridge averaged 17.3 points and 7.3 rebounds with the Spurs last season.