Mavs Prime Real Estate Of LaMarcus Aldridge
LaMarcus Aldridge is going to listen to bidders who attempt to pry him away from Portland this summer. The list of possible destinations includes the Dallas Mavericks, sources close to the situation telling me he's long been fond of the idea of playing at "home.''
Meanwhile, I've been told this by so many members of the NBA food chain (and not just including the bottom-feeding media) that I'm comfortable reporting it as fact: Portland will have a very difficult time convincing its All-Star forward to forego the free-agency courtship by giving him his five-year max. He wants to listen to suitors ... including the Dallas pitch and the San Antonio pitch and, hey, if you are LA, you want to be wined-and-dined by everyone, right?
The dissatisfaction in Portland is something only Aldridge himself can speak to, and the DFW native (from Seagoville and the University of Texas) handles himself in too classy a manner to ever put much voice to that.
At the same time, he does not hide his fondness for DFW, which is where real estate comes into play.
*Aldridge recently owned a multi-million-dollar home on the golf course in Las Colinas, luxurious enough that he had an elevator installed in it.
*Aldridge recently built a swimming pool in the backyard of the DFW home of his mother - with whom I'm told his children spend a great deal of time.
*Aldridge presently owns a $2 million property in Westlake, and yes, the good people of that area do indeed send me photos of the easily-identifiable 6-10 star grabbing breakfast with the family at the IHOP in Southlake.
*Privately, sources tell me, Aldridge, soon to be 30, can easily envision himself playing closer to home ... but that San Antonio should be counted as "relatively close'' to home.
Meanwhile, more real-estate dealings in Portland, where he's moved out of the $1,375,000 home he was renting from NBA-ex Damon Stoudamire, who has put the place up for sale.
Is that a sign, too?
Yes, in a sense.
Perennial All-Star Aldridge has distinguished himself in Portland, playing well, playing hurt, representing the city with basketball loyalty ... but there is a lack of connection now. He's nine years in and doesn't own a home there? He won't simply skip the four-year, $81-mil offers to instead latch onto the five-year $108-mil offer Portland will give? (Sidenote: The Mavs and other bidders, if they are clever, can construct a four-year, $100-mil deal for Aldridge, too, based on the signing of two short-term contracts. We've got the exclusive details here.)
Does Portland have a championship roster with LA, Damian Lillard and an injured Wes Matthews? Can they match, in competitiveness, what the Mavs might construct (especially if, in a pipedreamy world, Dallas gets a "yes'' from Aldridge AND DeAndre Jordan)? If there are ego issues in Portland, can LA be made to understand that the Dirk Nowitzki-led locker room is ready to hand him the baton to let him star and lead? (Aldridge has recently socialized in Dallas with some Mavs folks, I'm told, so he likely already recognizes this.) Can anybody -- Dallas and the rest -- match the competitive roster and the unselfish locker room that San Antonio annually promises?
Aldridge was recently in Boston (spotted at the airport there, because life isn't all about the IHOP in Southlake) and that has triggered Celtics-related speculation .. but that trip isn't about free agency because free agency doesn't open until July 1. At that time, the Blazers can be joined by the Celtics and the Spurs and the Mavs and whomever else on Aldridge's midnight doorstep.
You can assume that Aldridge's old Portland buddy, Kaleb Canales (now a Rick Carlisle assistant in Dallas) will be among the Mavs recruiting party on that doorstep. You can assume that Portland coach Terry Stotts (a former Carlisle aide in Dallas) will also be on that doorstep.
You can also assume that, Aldridge's real estate being what it is, that his doorstep won't be in Portland.
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