LaMarcus Aldridge might be available, could the Celtics make a play?

According to Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston, the Spurs might be ready to move LaMarcus Aldridge as soon as this very season. She said so much on her latest appearance on CSNNE:

Sources were telling me the other day that LaMarcus Aldridge may not even finish the year with the Spurs. That experiment hasn't quite worked out the way they hoped.

Aldridge seemed to have a great season for the Spurs last season, posting 18 points and 8.5 rebounds and he looked unstoppable at times in the playoffs. So why would San Antonio want to move on from the talented big man?

MacMullan alluded that there's "some stuff going on" with Aldridge in San Antonio, but she doesn't expand beyond that. However, Zach Lowe of ESPN commented on the possibility of a deal involving LaMarcus earlier this week, and I think his take makes more sense. Via Matt Moore of CBS Sports:

The Spurs are self-aware. I have a hunch they know this is something of a placeholder season, and that without some injury luck swinging their way at the right time, they are a tier below Golden State. Aldridge is 31, six years older than Kawhi Leonard, and his trade value will never be higher; he can opt out of his contract after the 2017-18 season.

The Spurs will see if this team outperforms expectations. If it doesn't, they should take calls on Aldridge. He's really good, and there are a lot of impatient owners chasing immediate gratification. If opportunism meets desperation, the Spurs could fleece some rival and restock with a bundle of assets that better line up with Leonard's timetable.

The odds are against any deal happening. Signing Gasol to a two-year deal (with a player option for 2017-18) is something of an all-in move, and even if Gasol opts out after this season, the Aldridge-Leonard combo is a shiny lure for free agents. But if the season unfolds the wrong way, here's betting the Spurs at least listen.

Lowe makes an interesting case for moving Aldridge, but also notes it's a long-shot. But of the teams you would imagine keeping an eye on this, Boston would have to be near the top of the list. A front-court of Horford/Aldridge would wreak some serious havoc, but it would certainly come at a price.

Any conversation for LaMarcus would probably start with one of our key players (think Crowder/Bradley) and most definitely include this upcoming Brooklyn pick. Aldridge is in the 2nd year of a 4-year $80 million contract, with a player option following the 2017-18 season.

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