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Gregg Popovich assured LaMarcus Aldridge he will coach until 2019

It helped lured the free agent to San Antonio.

The San Antonio Spurs signed coveted free agent LaMarcus Aldridge to a four-year deal on Saturday, and they were guaranteed Gregg Popovich will be around until at least 2019, too. In luring Aldridge to San Antonio, Popovich assured the big man that he would coach out the length of his contract, which expires in 2019, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

Popovich met with Aldridge for lunch in Los Angeles on Friday, and a chance to work with one the NBA's greatest coaches of all time apparently sealed the deal for Aldridge. He agreed to sign with the Spurs by Saturday.

Aldridge, who will turn 30 in a couple of weeks, joins one of the league's premier franchises and should make the Spurs an even better team. He averaged 19.4 points and 8.4 rebounds in his career with the Portland Trail Blazers, but decided to leave after nine years with the team, becoming one of the most sought-after free agents this summer. Aldridge was courted by eight teams, including the Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat. It came down to the Spurs and the Suns, and San Antonio won out.

It's been an eventful offseason for the Spurs. After they lost to the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs, it was rumored that Popovich, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili could all retire. Popovich returned because, he joked, he couldn't turn down the paycheck and Duncan announced that he would return for his 19th season. The Spurs are also lobbying for Ginobili to return.

The core and the coach are still there for the Spurs, and now they have Aldridge, too.