This free agent gem could change Clippers season

Steve Ballmer (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Steve Ballmer (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The career of LaMarcus Aldridge was ostensibly over.

After signing with the Brooklyn Nets during the 2020-21 NBA season, Aldridge seemed to fit right in with the talent of his newly acquired team. Yet, despite proving that he had plenty left in the tank at the age of 35, Aldridge was forced to step away from the game and retire due to a heart condition.

As Aldridge laid listlessly on his couch for one season, the former seven-time All-Star made his shocking return the following year. Yet, even after averaging 12.9 points and 5.5 rebounds, while shooting 55% from the field and 30.4% from distance, Aldridge was left out of the playoff rotation, not playing a single second against the Boston Celtics.

Thus far, Aldridge has shown no inclination that he plans on hanging up his jersey and walking off into the retirement sunset. As the former five-time All-NBA selection continues to wait patiently by the phone, hoping and praying that it rings, the LA Clippers shouldn’t allow him to wait any longer.

LaMarcus Aldridge would provide the Clippers with everything they need

From the moment the NBA offseason officially began, numerous teams kicked down the door of talented ball players, hoping that the allure of a bigger role and large bags of cash would entice them to wear their uniform for the entirety of the season. For the Clippers, on the other hand, they’ve mostly stayed away from bringing in other players.

LA’s free agency checklist has consisted of resigning both Amir Coffey and Nicolas Batum, check, check. They also emphasized the need to bring John Wall onboard as well, another check. With all three players now donning Clippers uniforms, the franchise is said to be taking a more conservative and flexible approach with their final roster spot.

Be that as it may, while signing Aldridge would lock the Clippers into their roster for the 2022-23 NBA season, the former multiple-time All-Star would provide the Clippers with exactly what they need.

Steadily, the likes of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have emerged as the faces of the franchise. However, even with both superstar players netting countless jump shots, and regardless of John Wall darting up and down the court, Aldridge would supply LA with a big body, something they desperately need.

At the moment, Ivica Zubac serves as LA’s lone big man down low. While he’s more than capable of banging against larger men on the defensive side of the ball and making them pay with bruising baskets near the rim, Aldridge would attack opposing big men in a different and possibly more effective way.

Never known as the most physically imposing player, Aldridge, particularly at this stage in his career, makes defenders pay by stretching the floor. Last season, with opposing squads focused on stopping Kevin Durant, and when he played, Kyrie Irving, Aldridge enjoyed countless open looks at the basket. Through 47 games, Aldridge connected on 57.8% of his 2-point attempts, a career-high.

Aldridge has also feasted on the minuscule front court of the Clippers. Just last season, in his lone matchup against them, Aldridge punished LA to the tune of 10 points and 9 rebounds. Outside of his offensive chops, Aldridge could be used as a glass eater. Last season, the Clippers struggled mightily in that department, racking up just 44 boards a game, good for 19th in the entire association.

At some point, a title contender will notice Aldridge on the free agency market and opt to bring him in. From there, he’ll do what he always does, provide stellar production, while acquiescing to the demands of his team’s star players and coaching staff.

In today’s stretch and finesse NBA, Aldridge is a flawless player. One who the Clippers should sign and add to their roster immediately.

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