Rumors and speculations are now swirling around the Los Angeles Clippers reserve center Cole Aldrich who is reported to decline his player option for the 2016-17 NBA season and enter the free agency market.
According to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times, Clippers reserve center Cole Aldrich became the third player to decline his player option. Aldrich will now be joining Clippers guards Wesley Johnson and Austin Rivers who decided to decline their player option next season and enter the free agency market.
Cole Aldrich served as a backup center for DeAndre Jordan in his first season with the Los Angeles Clippers. Aldrich averaged 5.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks in 13.3 minutes per game. He decided to decline his $1.2 million player option for the 2016-17 NBA season but expressed his desire to re-sign with the team. However, it is still questionable if the Clippers will re-sign if he demands a higher salary.
If Cole Aldrich decided to enter the free agency market, there will surely be several NBA teams that will offer him to join their team. His performance as a backup center for DeAndre Jordan can be considered good since he was only exposed for a shorter period inside the court. One of the teams that may show interest with Aldrich is the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers only have Roy Hibbert and Robert Sacre for the center position. As Hibbert is about to become an unrestricted free agent, it is still a question if the Lakers will be willing to throw a large amount in order to re-sign him for their team. The Lakers are expected to use their salary cap to acquire at least two superstars in the free agency market.
Cole Aldrich will be the best fit for the Lakers center position, performance and budget wise. It is undeniable that he has a potential to become a starting center in the league. With Luke Walton as the new head coach, Aldrich will be joining the Lakers young cores, D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle.
However, there is still a possibility that his decision might change since June 22 is the deadline for the players to decline their option for 2016-17 NBA season.