I’m not sure where this buzz started, but there seems to be a buzz that the Trail Blazers would be willing to listen to LaMarcus Aldridge trade offers.
Not happening. Not even close. Nor should it, but we’ll get to that.
What matters is that when Jason Quick of the Oregonian asked Blazers GM Neil Olshey about it Olshey laughed. Hard. He laughed like it was a Chris Rock routine, not a Dane Cook one.
Olshey said he has made zero calls to other teams about Aldridge. He did say he has fielded one inquiry from another team, but it was more exploratory in nature, that team feeling the Blazers out. And he said he has no plans to make any future calls about Aldridge as February approaches….
Olshey has identified a core: Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, Damian Lillard and (Wes) Matthews.
“The players on our roster who are no-brainers,’’ Olshey said, referring to that core, “are not going anywhere.’’
Which is how you build. You acquire young talent and keep it, moving other pieces to get more that fits with the core. But when you have a core guy you keep them.
Blazers fans can be frustrated with Aldridge taking too many jumpers — two more shots a game beyond 16 feet this season compared to last — but this is still one of the better power forwards in the game. He is not easily replicable. He is not someone you move short of getting a ridiculously lopsided offer from another team.
Olshey can say he wants to build through the draft, but he is fearless about making trades. I expect moves, if not at the deadline then after the season. But just don’t look for Aldridge in them.