Star free-agent forward LaMarcus Aldridge has agreed to sign a four-year, $80 million maximum contract with the San Antonio Spurs, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Aldridge, who turns 30 on July 19, had spent all nine seasons of his NBA career with the Portland Trail Blazers, developing into one of the league's best big men. He informed the Trail Blazers on Friday night that he had narrowed his choices to either the Spurs or Phoenix Suns, then chose the Spurs on Saturday morning.
Aldridge's contract will include a player option after the third season, sources said.
Aldridge met with the Spurs, Suns, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and Toronto Raptors, in addition to speaking with the Blazers, after the NBA's free-agent market opened on Wednesday. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard initially met with Aldridge on Wednesday morning in Los Angeles. Popovich and other members of San Antonio's coaching staff returned to Los Angeles for another meeting with Aldridge on Friday.
Aldridge asked Popovich in the initital presentation in Los Angeles about how long he planned to coach, and Popovich told him that he had just signed a new five-year deal in 2014 and was invigorated to keep going on the job, sources told Yahoo Sports.
The Spurs are now aggressively pursuing free-agent forward David West with a veteran minimum offer, league sources told Yahoo Sports. The Washington Wizards are offering their veteran midlevel exception of $5.4 million. West declined his player option of $12 million with the Indiana Pacers because he wants to compete for a championship.
The Suns made a good impression on Aldridge. They reached agreement on a four-year, $52 million contract with center Tyson Chandler early in free agency then surprised Aldridge by bringing Chandler into their meeting with him. The Suns also started to clear salary-cap room for Aldridge by trading forwards Marcus Morris and Danny Granger and guard Reggie Bullock to the Detroit Pistons for a 2020 second-round pick.
Aldridge grew up in Texas, attending Seagoville High School in Dallas before playing two seasons at the University of Texas. He was the No. 2 pick of the 2006 NBA draft, taken by the Chicago Bulls and traded to the Trail Blazers for Tyrus Thomas and Viktor Khryapa.
Aldridge has been an All-Star each of the past four years and was named to the All-NBA second team last season after averaging a career-best 23.4 points with 10.2 rebounds and one block per game.