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Lakers fail to make 'strong impression' on LaMarcus Aldridge, Spurs now frontrunners

Aldridge may be leaning toward San Antonio after his initial meeting with L.A.

The Los Angeles Lakers failed to make a "strong impression" during their meeting with free agent big man LaMarcus Aldridge and now the San Antonio Spurs "can close on him," reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Aldridge, one of the top players on the market, is expected to make a decision fairly soon after the opening of free agency Wednesday.

Los Angeles met with Aldridge at 12:01 a.m. -- the first minute of free agency -- on Wednesday morning and early indications were that the meeting went well. After it was reported that Aldridge was leaning toward signing with the Lakers on Monday and the two sides met for two hours Wednesday, it seemed like the team might get its man.

It turns out the Lakers didn't make quite as positive an impression on Aldridge, however, based on Wojnarowski's report. The two sides may have had some productive discussions, but it doesn't appear that Aldridge was sold on the idea of trying to resurrect the franchise after a pair of disappointing seasons.

By signing with San Antonio, Aldridge would be passing on the bright lights of Hollywood in favor of returning to his home state and a perennial contender. Aldridge is a native Texan, and the Spurs and Dallas Mavericks were initially considered top suitors for his services given that connection. Now it appears that the Spurs, who already signed Danny Green and traded Tiago Splitter on Wednesday, are the front runners to get Aldridge and continue their run as one of the West's best.