Took a breather after a long NBA season. To sum it up quickly:
- I was right.
- LeBron James may have proved as much in losing as he would if he won.
Somehow we’re already turning the page to next season, and that begins with the Draft and Free Agency. Last week’s draft came and went without my Pistons taking Justice Winslow (infinite sadness) and with the Knicks taking a gamble (infinite lolz).
But the most interesting story in the NBA right now is the decision in front of LaMarcus Aldridge. According to multiple reports, the most likely destinations for Aldridge are the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs; two teams on near opposite ends of the NBA spectrum.
So where will he go?
Let’s go point by point:
Point for the Spurs: Kobe Bryant
For two reasons:
First, when the next season starts, Kobe will be a 37 year-old with a failing body coming off back-to-back-TO-BACK season-ending, career-limiting (hyphens!) injuries.
No matter what, Kobe will continue the undeniable regression we’ve seen the past couple seasons. The problem is he’ll still run the offense and take 20 shots a game. That’s a really horrible combination.
Second, there’s the very real possibility that Kobe will insist on coming back next season, so Aldridge would have to endure that all again. Except this time even worse with (probably) another season-ending, career-limiting injury in his wake.
Point for the Lakers: History
Not because Magic Johnson is walking through that door, but because history has shown the Lakers always seem to bounce back. Maybe D’Angelo Russell is the guy to bring them back. Maybe it’s Julius Randle. Maybe it’s a “twin towers” of Aldridge and [Cousins/Love/DeAndre Jordan]. The point is, any one of those scenarios could play out. You just can’t bet against the Lakers when it comes to stuff like this.
Point for the Spurs: History
The Spurs have some history of their own. They managed to win championships 14 years apart with the same nucleus. That is amazing, and indicative of a system that you’d probably want to join if you were a young superstar trying to join an actual title contender. The problem is…
Point for the Lakers: The Spurs’ Uncertainty
…Tim Duncan will retire soon. Has to.
While Kobe’s situation has felt like Roy Jones Jr. hanging on a little too long, Duncan’s twilight years have been handled almost perfectly. His numbers have declined gradually…like a smooth plane landing versus Kobe’s…uh…this:
But when he eventually goes, the prevailing thought is that head coach Gregg Popovich goes with him, Manu Ginobili can’t be far behind, and Tony Parker has already started to fall off.
So do you trust Kawhi Leonard to be the running mate with you to a Finals run if you’re Aldridge? I could be talked into a “yes” or “no,” and that uncertainty counts as a point for LA.
You could really do this all day. The deciding vote comes down to this:
Why Aldridge has to sign with the Spurs: Jimmy Buss
The son of famed owner Jerry Buss, Jimmy has managed to put himself in the James Dolan category of NBA owners.
Not a good thing.
He has been so bad that Magic Johnson actually gave a certified opinion on him…if you follow Magic on Twitter you know it takes something truly awful to do this. And for what it’s worth, Magic thinks Buss has been truly awful.
So when Aldridge is forced to make a decision, he’ll have to look no further than ownership to make his decision.
Of course he’ll probably sign with Dallas and make this all pointless. Whatever.
What do you think? Where would you sign if you were in Aldrige’s shoes? Where do you think he will sign?
Hit the comments and let me know!