The Nets will be the next stop for free-agent big man LaMarcus Aldridge, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Aldridge’s agent, Jeff Schwartz confirmed the signing, Woj adds (Twitter link). It will be a veteran’s minimum deal for the rest of the season, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).
Aldridge just cleared waivers after agreeing to a buyout with the Spurs on Thursday. He gave up $5.8 million in that arrangement, which is more than he will get paid in Brooklyn. However, he will have the chance to compete for a title with a franchise that can surround him with star teammates.
Brooklyn has a roster spot open, so no move will be necessary before Aldridge can sign. The Nets are already huge winners on the buyout market, also adding Blake Griffin earlier this month.
Aldridge is likely to see most of his minutes at center, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Brooklyn has been searching for help in the middle ever since parting with Jarrett Allen in the January deal to acquire James Harden.
Aldridge’s decision comes as somewhat of a surprise, especially in Miami, where the Heat were thought to be the front-runners to sign him. Miami had received indications that it had a good chance to land Aldridge, tweets Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. An associate of Aldridge told Jackson that the veteran big man chose the Nets because he believes they’re in position to contend for a title. The Heat’s current six-game losing streak likely affected his decision (Twitter link).
Aldridge, 35, saw his playing time reduced this season as San Antonio opted for a younger lineup. He hasn’t played since March 1 while the Spurs tried to make a trade, but no suitable offers were received before Thursday’s deadline. Aldridge averaged 13.7 points and 4.5 rebounds in 21 games before being shut down.