Charles Barkley praises Spurs' signing of Aldridge

Published Jul. 5, 2015 8:10 p.m. ET

LaMarcus Aldridge is heading to San Antonio with a four-year, $80 million deal, making the already formidable Spurs even more of a threat in the Western Conference. 

The reaction to the signing was, of course, positive -- with many believing the deal was done to give the Spurs an eventual successor to Tim Duncan as he is entering his 19th season in San Antonio. Included in those praising the Spurs was none other than former NBA star Charles Barkley calling the move a "great pickup" as Aldridge can immediately become a key player in San Antonio's dynasty. 

"They're the best organization in the NBA, great pickup. He's a heck of a player," Barkley said in an interview with NBA TV. "You got Kawhi Leonard, who's probably one of the best 10 players in the NBA... Tony Parker I still think got two or three more All-Star years. Danny Green has played terrific. Great pickup by the Spurs."

With Aldridge spurning other more lucrative offers in favor of the Spurs, some experts and fans have suggested that players are more in favor of winning with an already established team than taking a better deal. However Barkley said there is more than meets the eye when it comes to signings such as these that appear to have star players leaving millions on the table.

"Everybody keeps saying these guys are leaving money on the table. If you look at this deal and Dwight Howard's deal, they didn't leave money on the table, they signed for less years and they are going to make that money up when they opt out," Barkley explained. "They get max deals, they both got an out, they are going to make up that money next time around. It sounds better than it really is." 

Regardless of the numbers with the deal, the addition of Aldridge by the Spurs, along with other big-name signings by other teams helps make the top Western Conference teams that much better as the 2015-16 season is shaping up to be one of the most exciting in recent history, according to Barkley.

"That Western Conference is going to be scary," he said. "DeAndre Jordan going down to the Mavs, that's an improvement. I tell you what, the interesting team for me is Oklahoma City. If they get everybody healthy, I think they are the team to beat not just in the West, but the entire NBA."


But when asked which teams Barkley is picking to come out of the West, he had trouble picking which is his ultimate favorite. 

"[The Spurs] are definitely in the mix. I think you would have to go OKC, Golden State -- obviously, they are the champs -- and the Spurs are right there. Those are the three best teams in the West in my opinion. You know, Dallas, Houston is going to be solid. This is going to be crazy out West, like it was this year," he said. "But listen, the West is loaded. The Spurs, Golden State and OKC, they are the top three teams in the West in my opinion."

Do you agree with Chuck? What are your picks to come out of the West? Tell Shawn Ramsey on Twitter: @ShawnPRamsey


● Predicting awards and winners of the 2015 MLB season

● Ranking NFL quarterback salaries

● 21 Fun Facts about the NCAA tournament

● Highest paid player of each NBA team

● College football's highest paid coaches in 2014

● Highest paid player on every MLB roster