- LaMarcus Aldridge has sadly announced his retirement following an irregular heartbeat in his last NBA game
- Brooklyn loses a key front court piece ahead of potential matchups with Milwaukee and Philadelphia
- How does Aldridge’s retirement impact the Nets’ title odds? See analysis below
After suffering an irregular heartbeat in his most recent NBA game, LaMarcus Aldridge has made the decision to retire. So far, this hasn’t moved the Brooklyn Nets’ NBA Championship odds.
The Nets remain the +250 favorites at DraftKings to win the 2021 NBA title. Aldridge’s Nets career has sadly been cut short after just five appearances in which he averaged 12.8 points. While Brooklyn’s rotation is far from set, Aldridge was clearly in line for a significant role, having played 26 minutes per game since joining Steve Nash’s team.
2021 NBA Championship Odds
|Team||Odds at DraftKings|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+350|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+500|
Odds as of Apr 15th
Other Front Court Options
Brooklyn has reinforced their front court throughout the season. Blake Griffin arrived in a buyout from the Detroit Pistons, and Nic Claxton has been a revelation as a switchable five. DeAndre Jordan spent five games out of the rotation before returning for the last two.
— LaMarcus Aldridge (@aldridge_12) April 15, 2021
While they have options to go up against the Bucks and Sixers in the playoffs, more depth is always useful.
Aldridge’s retirement is a hit to Steve Nash’s rotation options come the postseason. Joel Embiid’s foul-drawing prowess makes depth particularly important.
Aldridge was a poor defender at this stage. He was unlikely to help against Embiid or Giannis Antetokounmpo, but he was a player who could make them work on the other end. Brooklyn had experimented with running some offense through Aldridge in the post.
LaMarcus Aldridge is one of only 25 players in NBA history with 19,000+ career points and 8,000+ career rebounds.
A 7x All-Star and 5x All-NBA.
Hell of a career. pic.twitter.com/CLqqVFVNn2
— StatMuse (@statmuse) April 15, 2021
This isn’t a team in need of extra firepower. Aldridge was always more of a bonus rather than a necessity, yet he remained an efficient post scorer and good passer. He enabled the Nets to alter their approach, away from the perimeter-oriented games of their stars.
Margin for Error Decreases
As is often the case when a team loses depth, their margin for error narrows. An injury to Griffin, Jordan or Claxton is now much more significant. Jordan’s lackluster play of earlier in the season will be a problem in the playoffs. Claxton showing maturity beyond his years must continue into the postseason.
Statement from our GM Sean Marks on the retirement of LaMarcus Aldridge: pic.twitter.com/3WKRJgAmpn
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) April 15, 2021
Aldridge gave them another option on offense in games where one or two of the big three were missing.
With Kevin Durant resting frequently and James Harden working back from a hamstring issue, the former Spur will arguably be missed more in the regular season than he will be in the playoffs. He could have helped the Nets pick up some useful wins down the stretch as they chase the Sixers for the top seed.
The seven-time All-Star was unlikely to play significant minutes on Embiid in the playoffs. As Embiid showed on Wednesday, Brooklyn is ill-equipped to guard the Sixers’ MVP candidate regardless of Aldridge’s availability. What he had shown, though, was how he could fit into a role for the Nets.
LaMarcus Aldridge Appreciation Post
7 x NBA All-Star
5 x All-NBA
Blazers all-time rebound leader
LeBron & Melo are the only active players with more 2-PT field goals pic.twitter.com/PxTdlANkoi
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) April 15, 2021
Aldridge’s retirement doesn’t massively alter the Nets’ title chances. It could make for a more difficult route to the Finals, however, particularly if the three stars continue to miss considerable time. Dropping to the three seed is still possible.