Regardless of whether or not Gregg Popovich and Kawhi Leonard mend their reportedly fractured relationship, the Spurs head coach may actually be closer to retirement than many people previously thought.
On Tuesday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that people in the coach's "orbit" told him that next season could be Popovich's last as an NBA head coach (he's still set to coach the United States at the 2020 Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina).
If Popovich does retire after next season, will the management of the Spurs opt for a total roster overhaul? And if so, would elite players such as LaMarcus Aldridge become available to the Mavericks?
Aldridge is a Dallas native and a graduate of Seagoville High School.
Nobody knows when 39-year-old Dirk Nowitzki is going to retire.
And even though the Mavericks do have a pressing need at power forward, there's no guarantee the team takes a player like Texas' Mohamed Bamba or Michigan State's Jaren Jackson Jr. with the No. 5 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.
This coming season, Aldridge will count $22,347,015 against the cap in the final year of his contract with the Spurs (according to Spotrac.com). Unless he signs an extension to stay in San Antonio sometime between now and the end of next season, he will hit the free-agent market at age 33 (he turns 34 next July).
And it's hard to say what type of contract his services would command. When big men break down physically, their production tends to see a sharp decline, too. So, it's unlikely that Aldridge's would command anywhere close to a max contract.
But if the Mavericks show signs that they are developing into a contender with this year's draft pick and Dennis Smith Jr., then it's possible he could take a discount in order to try and win his first career championship.