Did Ime Udoka actually do it once more?
Again in 2015, Udoka, then an assistant with San Antonio, helped persuade his shut good friend, LaMarcus Aldridge, to signal with the Spurs — regardless of the Phoenix Suns seeming just like the favorites on the time.
“Ime bought the deal accomplished,” Aldridge told USA Today.
Six years later, Udoka and Aldridge — who developed a powerful bond whereas enjoying along with the Portland Trailblazers — are reunited once more.
This time, in Brooklyn.
Regardless of the Miami Warmth seeming like favorites to land the 35-year-old, free-agent large man, it was the Nets who secured Aldridge on a veteran’s minimal deal, a supply confirmed Saturday.
Udoka is now an assistant in Brooklyn beneath Steve Nash. So, on the very least, it’s cheap to imagine the 2 of them talked beforehand. And it’s simply as cheap to imagine that their discuss went properly.
The Nets’ group has rapidly develop into a primary vacation spot for each superstars and ring-chasing veterans. Aldridge, recent off the buyout market, joins a talent-laden roster that already consists of Kevin Durant (hamstring rehab), James Harden (doable MVP), Kyrie Irving (reportedly on paternity go away) and Blake Griffin (additionally off the buyout market). Mixed, the roster options 41 All-Star appearances.
Aldridge additionally has ties to Brooklyn GM Sean Marks from their San Antonio days, in addition to Durant and assistant Royal Ivey from their school days — all three enjoying for Texas at numerous junctures. Durant, actually, had simply endorsed Ivey for the Longhorns’ teaching emptiness. One other oddity: Nets’ participant growth coach Tiago Splitter was traded by San Antonio so they might open extra cap house for Aldridge’s max deal.
“We might have had a superb staff,” Durant instructed the Houston Chronicle about almost enjoying alongside Aldridge — who had already declared for the NBA draft — at Texas.
“However that’s a what-if.”
The Nets’ frontcourt depth at the moment consists of Durant, Griffin, veterans DeAndre Jordan and Jeff Inexperienced, and rising second-year professional Nic Claxton. With the playoffs developing, it’s good for Nash to have as many choices as doable — relying on matchups.
In 21 video games for the Spurs, Aldridge averaged 13.7 factors and 4.5 rebounds in 25.9 minutes. Aldridge, although, hasn’t performed since March 1, so he may have a while to work again into enjoying form — very like Griffin did.
The Miami Herald reported that Aldridge in the end was swayed by Brooklyn having a greater likelihood to emerge out of the Jap Convention. And it’s value questioning whether or not he would’ve picked Miami had the Warmth secured Kyle Lowry in a commerce, relatively than Victor Oladipo.
In any case, the Nets will gladly take it. The web was as soon as once more in an uproar over Brooklyn including one other affect piece on a budget.
In the meantime, the Lakers are nonetheless thought-about the favorites to land Andre Drummond. Apparently, Griffin, Aldridge and Drummond are all represented by Excel Sports activities Administration. LA has each LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the mend.
There are nonetheless loads of obstacles to beat — and nothing is assured — but it surely was straightforward to dream on the potential for a Nets-Lakers NBA finals after a really eventful Saturday.