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LaMarcus Aldridge to sign with Spurs, per report

The Southwest Division just got a lot tougher next year.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

All-Star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge has agreed to sign with the San Antonio Spurs after a drawn out free agent process that saw him recruited by the Lakers, Suns, Heat and Mavericks. He'll join Tim Duncan and reigning defensive player of the year Kawhi Leonard in arguably the most formidable front court in the league.

It looked like Phoenix may have put itself in the lead to recruit Aldridge after they reached a deal with Tyson Chandler and cleared cap space by trading Marcus Morris and other players to the Pistons. But the Spurs was so confident heading into meetings with the former Trailblazer that they had already cleared the required space on their own cap sheet by dumping Tiago Splitter's contract.

Earlier this week, San Antonio also reached agreements on new contracts with Leonard and shooting guard Danny Green. The Rockets, meanwhile, agreed on new deals for point guard Patrick Beverley and small forward Corey Brewer to return to the team.

The Mavericks were elated this week after successfully recruiting DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews. But it's clear the Southwest Division--already the toughest in the NBA--won't be getting any easier to navigate next season.