LaMarcus Aldridge, Marcus  Camby

LaMarcus Aldridge good with being at heart of rebuild


A lot of teams don’t like to use the “R” word — rebuild — because they fear it will scare off ticket buyers. Which strikes me as thinking your fans are shallow or stupid — fans of a team want hope, and they will come pay to see and cheer on young players so long as they see a future developing.

Whether the Trail Blazers want to admit it or not, they are rebuilding. They will have a lot of cap space and a couple first round draft picks this year as the roster is re-shaped in the post Greg Oden/Brandon Roy era.

But the Blazers do already have a star — LaMarcus Aldridge. One of the best young power forwards in the game. An All-Star. And those kinds of players often do not want to ride out a rebuild.

But Aldridge is good with it, he tells

“I don’t think I’ve reached my prime yet,” LaMarcus Aldridge said. “So, if we get a good group of rookies in this draft, they’ll be able to gain some experience in the next couple of years and we’ll be a force a couple of years from now….

“You don’t reach your prime until you’re about 28 or 29,” Aldridge said. “I’m 26 so I got a few more years until then. If we bring in the right guys, we’ll be very good down the road.”

My guess is Blazers fans — a loyal and knowledgeable fan base — feel the same way. Changes had to be made, it was time to move on no matter how much Roy is loved.

The Blazers have a chance here. All they really need is a GM with the vision, a coach who can coach it and smart moves. That includes ownership staying out of the way of the basketball people. All that is what should make Blazers fans nervous, not simply the idea of a rebuild.

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.