Toronto Raptors to Meet With LaMarcus Aldridge


Toronto Raptors to Meet With LaMarcus Aldridge

With free agency set to open up on July 1, we are slowly starting to see reports of who the Toronto Raptors are interested in this summer. One name that is sure to draw the attention of every Raptors’ fan is LaMarcus Aldridge.

According to reports, the 29-year-old forward will sit down and meet with the Raptors later this week.

Thanks in-part to the Greivis Vasquez trade, the Raptors have more than enough cap space to make a max-offer to Aldridge. However, is Toronto really a destination he would consider?

Reports suggest that the Spurs and Lakers are the frontrunners for the four-time All-Star, while teams like the Raptors, Knicks and Suns are not considered contenders.

Of course, San Antonio is synonymous with winning, while the Lakers are, well, the Lakers. But if you’re Aldridge, why not the Raptors? William Lou of Raptors Republic provided a great perspective on why Toronto could be a good spot for Aldridge.

"One might ask, “Why would Aldridge join the Raptors?” It’s a fair question. And the best answer I have is that the Raptors are a team on the rise in a hilariously weak Eastern Conference. Aldridge fits a need in Toronto and his addition would likely vaunt the Raptors into contention for the conference crown. Not to be overlooked, but Aldridge hates playing center and we have yung Jonas to fill that need.God dammit I’m getting way too excited. Let’s look at it from Aldridge’s perspective.Look, there’s no downside for Aldridge in hearing a pitch. The Raptors’ management will show him everything the 6ix has to offer. The weather is shit, but the city is great. The roster is iffy, but Aldridge is the kind of superstar who can make it all work. Bump DeRozan and Lowry down a notch on the pecking order, and this is a very good team. Plus we got Drake! What does San Antonio have besides a championship culture, a stacked roster, a mastermind on the sidelines churros?"

As one of the largest cities in North America, Toronto is more than appealing from an economics and entertainment standpoint. Basketball wise, though, we could obviously use some work, which is probably short for wins.

If you’re Aldridge though, coming to Toronto would be an unprecedented move. Seriously, the last big name free agent we lured to Toronto was… Hakeem Olajuwon?

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As unfortunate as this sounds, folks south of the border still don’t take Toronto seriously when it comes to mentioning cities that are considered to be “top-flight” destinations, even though players rave about Toronto all the time. So for Aldridge to even consider Toronto, it’s a big deal. We all know how great this city is, but it’s about time others — in particular NBA players — do too.

Even if the Raptors don’t land Aldridge, the fact that general manager Masai Ujiri was able to get him to consider it as an option should be viewed as a positive sign. Ujiri promised that this team would not be stuck in the middle, and by the looks of it, he’s going to do whatever he can to live up to that promise.

There is some irony to all this Aldridge and Raptors discussion, though. Remember back in 2006 when we selected Andrea Bargnani over him? Yea… Aldridge could have already been a Raptor and we wouldn’t have to worry about trying to sign him. But we all know how that story went.

Next: Raptors Interested in Wes Matthews

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