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Kevin Durant's failed trade request sparks memories of San Antonio Spurs and LaMarcus Aldridge

The NBA has spent much of the offseason following Kevin Durant’s request to trade from the Brooklyn Nets. Many potential trades are on hold as teams wait to see how the superstar’s presence will affect the market.

Durant ended up being traded from the Nets for an exorbitant asking price. He and the organization met for a second team and recommitted ahead of the 2022-23 season after determining that doing so would be beneficial to both parties.

It’s not uncommon for stars to request deals and not receive the desired change of scenery. Among numerous examples, LaMarcus Aldridge asked for a trade from the San Antonio Spurs in 2017, and then he went through a strong campaign.

Aldridge averaged an impressive 23.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists while shooting 51.0 percent from the field in 2017-18 as he scored his last two games on the field The first of all-star nominations. Production has rebounded strongly after Aldridge averaged 17.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game last season.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was asked what led to this resurgence, and it was posted a few months later as a trade request: “When he said ‘I want to be traded.’ “

“It’s that simple,” Popovich said. “I said, ‘Wow, no one has ever said that to me before.’ This is my 20-year-old, and no one has ever said anything like, ‘I don’t like this. I’m not confident. I’m not sure. Do you want me here. I want to be traded.'”

Aldridge explained the situation as a heart-to-heart about his offseason situation with the Spurs chat. As explained to ESPN, he “simply expressed my feelings about how things are and where they are going.”

The trade request did not ultimately lead to Aldridge being transferred. Instead, the two laughed together, with Popovich being “very candid” about how things would play out. Aldridge ended up staying in San Antonio until a buyout was reached midway through the 2020-21 season.

“I was very honest with him,” Popovich said. “I told him, ‘I’d love to trade you. You give me a genius like Kevin Durant and I’ll drive you to the airport. I’ll pack your bags. I’ll drive you there, pick up You’re on the plane and you sit down. He smiles, you know, that kind of thing.

“I said, ‘But other than that, I’m your best buddy, because You’re here for another year, and you’re not going anywhere. Because we won’t give you the talent we want. So let’s get this straight. We did it. “

You can follow Grant Afseth on Twitter at @GrantAfseth.

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