LaMarcus Aldridge will be one of the most sought after free agents this summer, but the Los Angeles Lakers may already be playing from behind before free agency kicks off on July 1. Aldridge can make his own decision with no strings attached as an unrestricted free agent, but the Lakers aren't considered a "viable option," according to Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report's sources.
The Portland Trail Blazers can offer Aldridge a maximum-level five-year contract while any other suitors can only off four. Aldridge "isn't likely" to sacrifice an extra guaranteed year to join a team that's in the early stages of a rebuild, according to Bucher. LaMacus is interested in returning home to Texas, though, and both the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs will be in the running. His preference, however, is with Dallas.
Aldridge has been one of the best big men in the NBA for years but hasn't received the kind of hype the players around him have. He's watched Brandon Roy, Damian Lillard and even Greg Oden receive more attention while in Portland. This lack of attention, reportedly, is just one of the reasons he's considering a change in scenery.
The Lakers are expected to spend during free agency, and Aldridge is one of the best players they can attain, particularly because the Blazers don't have the option to match an offer sheet. Los Angeles could lock in it's frontcourt of the future with the No. 2 pick and a returning Julius Randle, but adding an established All-Star into the mix could be beneficial for several reasons as they work toward competing in the stacked Western Conference.
That player being LaMarcus Aldridge, however, sounds like a long shot. Unless things change, there may be no LA for LA this summer.