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Aldridge says he happy in San Antonio

By
The Sports Xchange
San Antonio Spurs Lamarcus Aldridge, at right, puts up a shot against Golden State Warriors Draymond Green on April 7, 2016, during a loss to the Warriors allowing them to clinch the top seed in last season's playoffs. File photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI
San Antonio Spurs Lamarcus Aldridge, at right, puts up a shot against Golden State Warriors Draymond Green on April 7, 2016, during a loss to the Warriors allowing them to clinch the top seed in last season's playoffs. File photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

Spurs star forward/center LaMarcus Aldridge insists he is happy in San Antonio despite reports of friction between him and 25-year-old franchise cornerstone forward Kawhi Leonard.

"I'm winning. Of course I'm happy," Aldridge told ESPN on Thursday. "That's why I don't buy into the rumors. I feel like I do my job here and I feel like I've done everything that they've asked."

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The San Antonio Express-News reported Wednesday that the Spurs are "open to trading the former (University of Texas star) should the right package surface."

"Those close to the situation suggest Aldridge may not be happy at the moment," the Express-News report reads. "The belief is the Spurs pitched him on becoming the center of their offense when they recruited him in 2015, and that hasn't occurred with the rise of Kawhi Leonard."

A team source also told the Express-News that "there are currently no problems with Aldridge, adding he is a part of the Spurs' future."

Aldridge signed with the Spurs before the 2015-16 season after spending the first nine years of his career with the Portland Trail Blazers.

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The 31-year-old big man is a five-time All-Star with career averages of 19.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.0 blocks over 722 career games.

In his first season with San Antonio, Aldridge averaged 18.0 points -- his fewest since averaging 17.9 in 2009-10 -- and 8.5 rebounds. The Spurs went 67-15, including an NBA-record-tying 40-1 at home, and advanced to the Western Conference semifinals.

With the retirement of five-time NBA champion forward Tim Duncan after last season, Aldridge figures to play a more prominent role in the Spurs' system.

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