It was a bit surprising to see the San Antonio Spurs extend the contract of LaMarcus Aldridge considering how out of place he has looked in their offense and the trade rumors suggesting his eventual departure.
But the Spurs are apparently taking a new approach with how they utilize the All-Star big man and head coach Greg Popovich admits his mistake in trying to change him when he first arrived in San Antonio.
“I did talk with him several times during the summer. He just didn’t feel comfortable. It’s 98.75 percent on me, and whatever’s left, because I can’t subtract that much, on him” Popovich confessed via Michael C. Wright of ESPN.
“But I tried to change him. I thought back to when Timmy [Duncan] came, and people said, ‘What are you going to do with Tim Duncan?’ I said, ‘Nothing. I’m just going to watch him for about six months, see what he does. He’s a pretty good player, and if there’s something I think I can add, then I’ll do it.’
With LaMarcus, he got here and on Day 1, I said, ‘OK, you’re going to do this, and you’re going to do this pump fake.’ I tried to change him. I tried to make him a different player, and I think that really affected his ability to feel comfortable and confident on the court.
And we took care of that, basically by me letting him know that we were going to do it differently, and that it was on me, not him.”
Allowing Aldridge to just play his game may pay huge dividends for the Spurs as the season rolls on.
Spurs Looking to Trade Pau Gasol
Gasol is only posting 4.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game this season for San Antonio, so it’s not clear how much value, if much, he would have on the trade market.
Spurs’ Dejounte Murray Not Returning this Season
Murray tore the ACL in his right knee during a preseason game against the Houston Rockets back on October 7th, and although he has been posting his progress on social media, is still far away from a return to the court.
Murray, 22, averaged 8.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game for the Spurs last season, earning All-NBA Defensive Second Team honors, becoming the youngest player in league history to earn the nomination.
Spurs Have ‘Significant Interest’ in Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis
Porzingis has not played this season as he continues to recover from a torn ACL, and could be in line for a max offer sheet of $122.1 million over four years when he reaches restricted free agency.
Porzingis averaged 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks over 48 games last season for the Knicks, prior to his injury.
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