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Clippers Off-Season 2016: Cole Aldrich Drawing Interest from Phoenix, Orlando

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The Clippers' backup center might be getting paid this summer.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

According to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times, Clippers backup center Cole Aldrich has received interest from the Orlando Magic and Phoenix Suns.

Aldrich was a remarkably effective minimum-salary player last season in a breakout year, and he should earn himself some pretty decent money this summer.  He averaged 5.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.1 blocks, 0.8 assists, and 0.8 steals in 13 minutes a game--good for per 36 averages of 14.8 points, 13.0 rebounds, 3.1 blocks, 2.3 assists, and 2.1 steals.

The Clippers have repeatedly stated their interest in retaining Aldrich, even though they lack his bird rights and would need to use their Mid-Level Exception to even make a halfway-decent offer.  Even then, it's easy to see the Magic, Suns, or another team throwing far more money at Cole and luring him away from the Clippers.

Even if he is retainable for the MLE, Aldrich might not be the best fit.  The Clippers used two of their draft picks on backup bigs this summer, and if they use the MLE there too, they could end up being left very thin on the wing, with only Jeff Green's bird rights and Branden Dawson's non-guaranteed contract available at small forward.