Veteran power forward Lamarcus Aldridge has agreed to a three-year, $72.3 million contract extension with the San Antonio Spurs, staying with the team through the 2020-21 season. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who first reported the deal, said the contract includes a partial guarantee in his third year. Based on the deal, Aldridge will exercise the $22.3 million player option on his 2018-19 contract. The provisions of the extension will kick in starting in the 2019-2020 season. This season, Aldridge will make $21.4 million. Without the contract extension, Aldridge can opt out from the final year of the four-year, $84 million deal that he signed with the Spurs as a free agent in 2015.

Spurs, Aldridge iron out differences

With the extension, it looks like the Spurs and Aldridge have ironed out their differences after a disappointing season from the power forward where he averaged just 17.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. The Spurs looked to Aldridge to step up after Kawhi Leonard went down with an injury in the playoffs but he averaged just 16.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game in the postseason. Leonard suffered an ankle injury in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals but Aldridge failed to step up, averaging just 15.5 points and 5.8 boards as the Spurs were swept by the Golden State Warriors. John Gambadoro of Sports 98.7 reported that the Spurs shopped Aldridge around before the NBA Draft for a top-five pick but no one expressed interest in the veteran power forward.

Aldridge met with coach Popovich

According to Michael C. Wright of ESPN, Aldridge met with Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich to discuss how he could become a better fit in his system. Wright said Aldridge was frustrated by his poor play last season and wanted Popovich to discuss his role with the squad. In an interview with Wright, Aldridge said Popovich was caught off guard about the meeting and was surprised that he was unhappy with the situation with the Spurs.

Aldridge said Popovich allowed him to pour his heart out, saying the coach was a great listener.

During the meeting, Popovich promised Aldridge that he will improve the situation to allow the power forward to become more productive in the coming season. The Spurs need Aldridge to step up, especially with the vast improvement of some teams in the Western Conference, like the Houston Rockets, the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Oklahoma City Thunder.