One of last season’s scariest and most unfortunate situations was the sudden retirement of veteran big man LaMarcus Aldridge. After being bought out, Aldridge chose to sign with the Brooklyn Nets over the Los Angeles Lakers but was forced to retire in the middle of the season due to a heart issue.
The initial announcement was met with concern and fear from some for what could have been. In the end, most were happy that the issue was caught before something tragic happened, but now a few months later and it looks as if everything has been taken care of medically for Aldridge.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Aldridge has been cleared to play in the NBA once again, and the Nets are the favorites to sign him:
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 2, 2021
The fact that Aldridge has passed all medical tests and can play once again is truly a wonderful story. A player being forced into retirement before they are ready is always disappointing and even more so when it is due to a medical issue which they had no control over.
The Nets being likely to sign him should also come as no surprise as he chose them over other teams when he had the opportunity last season and never got the chance to see the season through. The Nets are arguably the championship favorites coming into the 2021-22 season, and Aldridge only strengthens their chances of bringing home the trophy.
Much like the Lakers, the Nets have surrounded their three stars with veteran role players who know their roles and can contribute in a big way. Aldridge showed he still has plenty left in the tank as he averaged 12.8 points and 4.8 rebounds on 52.1% shooting in the five games he appeared in with the Nets. Now that he is back, he’ll be hoping to finish the job he started.
Lakers to target DeAndre Jordan if bought out
Assuming Aldridge returns to Brooklyn, they will be crowded in the frontcourt, which makes the rumors of a potential buyout of veteran DeAndre Jordan more likely. Rumors have already begun about where Jordan could land if that happens, and the Lakers are a team that is expected to look into bringing him in should that buyout happen.