Could LaMarcus Aldridge find his way back to Chicago? Rumors say the Bulls may be in play if he returns to the NBA.
LaMarcus Aldridge began his career with the Chicago Bulls but was traded before he could even play a game with them. The Bulls traded his draft rights to the Portland Trailblazers in exchange for the rights to Tyrus Thomas in 2006.
Throughout 15 seasons, he has racked up seven All-Star appearances, was named to five All-NBA teams, and was on the 2006-07 All-Rookie team. Aldridge spent nine seasons in Portland averaging 19.4 points and 8.2 rebounds, before signing with the San Antonio Spurs. He posted similar numbers there. In 2021 he joined the Brooklyn Nets in an effort to win a ring after being bought out by the Spurs. But he was only able to play five games with them. His 15-year career was but on hold when he retired mid-season because of heart concerns.
Meanwhile, Thomas went on to average 7.7 points per game and was out of Chicago after four seasons. It’s safe to say the Chicago Bulls would like a do-over. Now it looks like the LaMarcus Aldridge story could come full circle.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Aldridge is “seriously considering a return to the NBA.” He still needs to consult with his doctors before making a final decision. If his medical consultation goes well then he will be able to sign a contract. Wojnarowski added that he “is expected to have conversations with individual teams in the coming weeks.”
ESPN Sources: After medical consultation, seven-time All-Star F LaMarcus Aldridge is seriously considering a return to the NBA this season. Aldridge retired with Brooklyn in mid-April with heart concerns, but is exploring the possibility of resuming his 15-year career.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 4, 2021
There is smoke surrounding the Chicago Bulls acquiring him. According to Bulls insider KC Johnson, chatter existed around the league that the Bulls were interested in pursuing him this offseason. These rumors started before the front office completely overhauled the roster. The new-look Bulls are now a much more appealing destination to a player like Aldridge.
Aldridge would be a perfect fit on the overhauled roster as well. He would add depth to the frontcourt that already includes Nikola Vučević, Tony Bradley, Patrick Williams, and Marko Simonović, the Bulls 2020 second-round pick. Aldridge could provide the Bulls some of the things they lost in Thad Young. A reserve scorer that has been around the league a long time. He is a much-needed veteran presence for a team hungry to win. Aldridge would likely be signed to a veteran minimum contract.
Despite playing a limited bench role it was hard to ignore his production in 2021. He averaged 3.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks while also shooting 38.8 percent from beyond the arc and 87.2 percent from the free-throw line.
The Bulls saw what he can do first-hand last season. On April 4th he posted an 11 point, 3 rebounds, 3 block effort in one of his five games in. the Net’s loss to the Bulls.
It was reported that the Hornets have a strong interest in Lauri Markkanen. Several other suitors are also interested, including the Minnesota Timberwolves. A sign and trade is likely coming in the next couple of days. If the Bulls indeed do not decide to sign him to his one-year qualifying offer, a roster spot will be open for Aldrige to take.
Executive vice president of basketball operations, Arturas Karnisovas, and general manager Marc Eversley have been ultra-aggressive this offseason. Adding a former All-Star like Aldridge would fit their playbook.