The Toronto Raptors finally had their meeting with the NBA’s most desirable free agent that was actually available this morning.
Raptors did well in meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge, but it is unlikely he picks the Raptors, per source.
— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 2, 2015
It’s only the second morning of free agency, but the wait seemed to take forever as news trickled out about which teams had made an impression on LaMarcus Aldridge. It seems the initial reaction after every meeting so far has been it went well, at least until someone that hasn’t been schooled in diplomacy leaks out some unconfirmed detail.
Aldridge hasn’t ruled out any team and has no reason to do so until he announces his decision, but the obvious favorites are the iconic Spurs from his home state of Texas and the more lucrative monetary deal he can get by returning to Portland.
After agreeing to terms with DeMarre Carroll, the Raptors would have to do a sign-and-trade to nab Aldridge or find a team to absorb a few players while sending nothing back to make cap space, but those conditions haven’t stopped Aldridge from considering other teams.
The Raptors have one thing the more favored teams in the Western Conference can’t offer him, Toronto provides a route to the Conference Finals and thus a chance at the Finals without going through the nightmare of teams in the West. If Aldridge is sick of looking at the Warriors, Clippers, Rockets, Spurs, Grizzlies, Thunder, Mavericks and now Pelicans and possibly Suns clogging up the playoff picture and making getting out of the first round an adventure every year, he just might want to move East.
Raptors GM Ujiri Throws A Curve To Open Free Agency
So all that noise about the Raptors meeting with free agent power forward LaMarcus Aldridge may have turned into smoke as President and General Manger, Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri was actually meeting with the Hawks small forward DeMarre Carroll first and the Raptors GM wasted no time in getting a deal done.