Aldridge set to join Nets; Rockets rip Timberwolves

VETERAN big man LaMarcus Aldridge will sign a one-year deal with the Brooklyn Nets, according to multiple reports last Saturday.

Aldridge became a free agent Thursday after the San Antonio Spurs bought out the remainder of his $72-million contract.

Aldridge joins a frontcourt that includes Blake Griffin, another addition from the buyout market. Griffin signed a one-year free-agent contract with Brooklyn earlier this month as the Nets — in second place in the Eastern Conference — gear up to try to make a deep postseason run.

Aldridge, 35, was in the final year of a three-year deal he signed in 2017. He was making $24 million this season, his 15th in the NBA, with The Athletic reporting he gave back $7.25 million in salary to facilitate his departure from the Spurs.

A former second-overall draft pick by the Chicago Bulls in 2006 out of Texas, Aldridge has averaged 19.4 points and 8.3 rebounds over 1,024 career games (980 starts). A seven-time All-Star, Aldridge has played for the Portland Trail Blazers (2006-2015) and the Spurs.

He averaged 13.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 25.9 minutes in 21 games with San Antonio this season.

ROCKETS WIN
Meanwhile, Kelly Olynyk contributed 16 points in the first game for his new team and six teammates also scored in double figures as the Houston Rockets avenged a loss from 24 hours earlier with a 129-107 shellacking of the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis on Saturday night.

Minnesota had won the first half of the back-to-back sequence (107-101) scoring the game’s last 22 points. Houston had led by as many as 19 points.

The Rockets built an even bigger lead by halftime in the rematch, going up 74-48, and never lifted the foot off the gas pedal the second time around.

Olynyk, acquired at the trade deadline with Avery Bradley in exchange for Victor Oladipo, hit five of his eight shots, including going 4-for-6 from 3-point range, in his introduction to his new team.

Bradley sat out Saturday’s game with a calf injury.

Karl-Anthony Towns put up 27 points and a game-high 15 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who could have caught Houston and Detroit for fewest wins in the league with a victory. — Reuters