NBA

Nets adding another All-Star in LaMarcus Aldridge after buyout with Spurs

The Brooklyn Nets landed another former NBA All-Star in the buyout market.

Almost three weeks after signing free agent Blake Griffin, who was bought out by the Detroit Pistons, the Nets reached a deal with LaMarcus Aldridge, a person familiar with the agreement told USA TODAY Sports.

The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly until the signing is official.

Aldridge, a seven-time All-Star, reached a buyout agreement with the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday after the team couldn’t find a deal before the trade deadline expired.

This is another coup for the Nets, who are making a push to win the Eastern Conference, and a disappointment for the Miami Heat, who wanted to add a big man to the roster. There are still options for Miami such as Andre Drummond and Gorgui Dieng.

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Brooklyn added James Harden in a blockbuster trade in January, giving the Nets a Big 3 of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Harden. They have played just seven games together, mostly because of Durant’s absence due to a hamstring injury that has sidelined him for the past 21 games.

LaMarcus Aldridge was one of the top free targets for contenders on the buyout market. (Photo: Daniel Dunn, USA TODAY Sports)

There is no timetable for Durant’s return, but the Nets keep winning. They are 31-15, 1½ games behind the first-place Philadelphia 76ers in the East and have won nine of their past 11 games.

Aldridge — no longer in his prime at 35 years old — wasn’t part of San Antonio’s plans, but that doesn’t mean he can’t contribute to a contender. He averaged 13.7 points and 4.5 rebounds in 25.9 minutes per game.

Brooklyn needed another big man alongside DeAndre Jordan and Griffin.

Give Nets general manager Sean Marks credit. He sees an opportunity to reach the NBA Finals, and he’s doing all that he can to give first-year coach Steve Nash the players to do it.

Follow Jeff Zillgitt on Twitter @JeffZillgitt.

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