From a distance, it seems like there is a lot to like for Trail Blazers fans — they have an All-Star big man in LaMarcus Aldridge and the Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard at the point. Those are good building blocks (although there is certainly a long ways to go). Plus, Portland has great microbrews and Pok Pok, what more could you want?
But apparently, Aldridge wants out.
There has been a little buzz about that and Jason Quick of the Oregonian broke it all down in a column on Thursday.
Not that I believe general manager Neil Olshey is looking to move the star power forward. But I believe Aldridge wants out…
See, Aldridge wants to end his seven-year run with the Blazers because he thinks Portland is too small. Too boring.
Expect the denial of this from Aldridge in 3….2….
Quick relayed a conversation from late in the season when he asked the Blazers best player if he wanted out and kept getting the answer back “I’m fine” and that it was just things needed to be evaluated over the summer. Okay.
Don’t expect a sudden move, but don’t be shocked if the Blazers test the trade market waters to see what Aldridge’s value is.
Still, it is an interesting proposition for Olshey as he embarks on his second summer of reshaping the franchise. Aldridge has two years remaining on his contract in Portland. He has no leverage to demand a trade right now. But he will after this season, when he can enter his final season in Portland with a threat to walk into free agency, leaving the Blazers with nothing in return, except for some salary cap relief.
Aldridge is 27 and entering his prime as a player. To move him now would be what the Jazz did with Deron Williams, but it is when the Blazers have more leverage. If they try to move him in the 2015 season when teams think Aldridge will walk as a free agent at the end of it the offers could be lowballs.
We’ll see. I expect Aldridge to deny all this, but it’s still a trend to watch.