Another domino in the buyout market has fallen. After much speculation, recently released San Antonio Spur LaMarcus Aldridge has decided to sign with the ultra-loaded Brooklyn Nets.
Aldridge, a multiple-time All-Star and All-NBA member, will be joining a group that already includes prime superstars Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving, and former stars DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin, who can still be decent despite being on their last hurrahs. Griffin, as you know, was just picked up from the buyout pool three weeks ago.
So, yeah. It’s insane. One can only imagine how unstoppable they can be. Durant or Harden alone can probably lead the Nets’ supporting cast to the NBA finals.
Here now are some takeaways on the blockbuster signing:
The Nets’ collection of accolades
Who would’ve thought another crew will be scarier than Durant’s Golden State Warriors super team just a few years after? This Nets squad is overflowing with talent and accolades.
Between Durant, James, Irving, Griffin, Jordan, and Aldridge are a long list of impressive hardwood:
- 3x NBA championships
- 2x MVPs
- 3x ROYs
- 7x Scoring titles
- 3x All-Star Game MVPs
- 31x All-NBA selections
- 41X All-Star appearances
That doesn’t even include all of their collective experiences in the postseason, as well as the similarly notable resume of the coaching staff.
Kevin Durant’s recruitment skills
Durant is an all-time scorer with a deep scoring repertoire, arguably the most versatile ever. When he retires, though, his resume should also include his great recruitment skills. He brought veteran presence with him back in his Golden State days, and it carried on smoothly in Brooklyn.
While it’s a combination of many things, we can also assume that the Nets’ pieces have been crafted by Durant – collaborating with his close friend, Irving, and convincing Jordan to join them, luring former teammate Harden to come over, and enticing title-hungry, past-their-prime stars Griffin and Aldridge.
Aldridge is in win-now mode
It’s kind of a bummer to see Aldridge sign with a super team instead of a contender, but you can’t fully question his decision. He’s almost 36 years old and has endured plenty of tough playoff exits. You can’t always fault a man for chasing that elusive championship. Time is running out.
Aldridge was reportedly close to joining the Miami Heat before he changed his mind. It would’ve been intriguing see him blend in with that scrappy, dangerous core, but the Heat ultimately advertised themselves poorly. They have dropped their last six games while playing with a mostly healthy lineup.
Aldridge went with who he trusts
When you’re in a win-now mode, you want everything to be as sure as possible, and in such situations, it’s usually best to go with individuals that you trust. That’s what Aldridge simply did.
The Nets have a lot of Spurs connection, and it probably put LaMarcus at ease. Brooklyn’s General Manager, Sean Marks, was a former player and assistant of Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. The coaching staff, meanwhile, has assistants Ime Udoka and Jacque Vaughn, and lead player development associate Tiago Splitter – all three also once worked and/or played for Pop.
It’s true that we really shouldn’t be too concerned that the league’s lone super team snagged another reinforcement. For all we know, Aldridge is washed and wouldn’t be able to fit with the Nets’ fast-paced offense.
The undeniable thing, however, is he’s a considerable boost in terms of depth. Even if Durant, Harden, Irving, or Joe Harris all get in a shooting funk simultaneously, which is highly unlikely, the Nets still wouldn’t be in danger, simply because Aldridge’s savviness in the post and midrange efficiency will be there as a reliable back-up.
Barring any major injuries, defenses might be left shrugging their shoulders.
Aldridge made the best decision he can make now that he’s reaching for a championship, and even if you think it negatively altered the competition, you’ll still be glued to their games because you’ll enjoy rooting against them.
The Nets will be back in action on Tuesday against the Minnesota Timberwolves. They’ll meet at 7:30 AM, Manila time.