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The Suns' Wednesday meeting with free agent LaMarcus Aldridge might have closed some ground in their chase for a much-needed star.

With an intricate plan in place for the first day of free agency, the Suns showed Aldridge what type of team that they envision being before they even met with him. The Suns opened free agency by adding veteran center Tyson Chandler with a four-year, $52 million agreement and by coming to terms to keep guard Brandon Knight on a five-year, $70 million contract.

Those were important to do first because Chandler and Knight were along for the ride when the Suns brought an eight-man contingent for a two-hour meeting with Aldridge, who is believed to be mainly considering San Antonio, Houston, Dallas and Phoenix.

The meeting was broken into segments, starting with Suns Managing Partner Robert Sarver meeting alone with Aldridge. President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby and General Manager Ryan McDonough had the next meeting. After the brass' pitch, it was the coaches' turn with head coach Jeff Hornacek and new assistant coach Earl Watson, Aldridge's 2013-14 teammate in Portland.

The talks closed with a players-only group of Knight, Chandler and Suns guard Eric Bledsoe talking to Aldridge. Bledsoe's inclusion in the meeting is another indication that the Suns are not looking to include Bledsoe in an Aldridge sign-and-trade deal, the latest in a series of off-base trade rumors regarding Bledsoe.

Signing Aldridge would require payroll moves because the Suns entered free agency with $12 million of space. They are able to exceed the cap to sign Knight to his five-year, $70 million contract because he is a restricted free agent. P.J. Tucker was not included in the meeting even though he and Aldridge were teammates for two seasons at Texas.

Aldridge, who turns 30 on July 19, is an ideal system fit for a Suns upgrade, especially alongside a defensive and rebounding stalwart such as Chandler. Aldridge is coming off his most decorated season in nine years with Portland. He was an All-NBA second-team selection for averaging a career-high 23.4 points and 10.2 rebounds per game and introducing a 3-point shooting threat (35 percent) to his game. Aldridge has been named an All-Star the past four seasons.
http://www.azcentral.com/story/sports/nba/suns/2015/07/01/phoenix-suns-lamarcus-aldridge-free-agency/29587497/
 

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Gambo dropping news on LMA's wants/desires in a destination, how Suns stack up, and what deals they would have to do if he wants to sign. Too much to post in tweet brackets.

https://twitter.com/Gambo987
 

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Werewolf Bar Mitzvah
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What do you think, offer him $20-25m/yr? Will that get it done? Suns are at around 63 million with they're current signings. Luxury tax is at $85 million.
 

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Restore the Roar
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So... what do they have next year? This is a clear cut lotto team in the west this coming year, right? Get a pick, and trust in McD to get the team back up there again soon?
 

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Yeah, looks like McD wants to do Rockets model of building. Let young talent develop and grow, be in that 11-14th lottery range or bottom out if it somehow happen (think his original plan was OKC with high picks til they surprised all), maintain flex, collect and keep assets til a star or superstar becomes available and/or sign one in FA.

Last couple yrs aiming high has also been to restore and gain credibility in this franchise that quite honestly had been lost over the last 5 yrs and maybe go further and get a superstar here for once. Just by getting meetings and being in the race for top star FAs and coming ever so close this yr is progress.
 

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Beware of Elbows
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I don't think they're a clear lotto team at all. Portland should no longer be a playoff team, opening up one slot in the West (for the Thunder). I also think it's far from a sure thing that Dallas will make the playoffs next year. Wes Matthews will miss a serious part of the year while he's recovering from his achilles injury, and they currently have no starting PG and no bench.

Eric Bledsoe
Brandon Knight // Devin Booker // Archie Goodwin
TJ Warren // PJ Tucker
Markieff Morris // Jon Leuer
Tyson Chander // Alex Len

I'd expect Phoenix, Dallas, Utah and the Lakers to be in the mix for that last playoff spot.
 
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