Portland Trail Blazers v Dallas Mavericks

LaMarcus Aldridge says he hasn’t demanded a trade from the Blazers


When a report surfaced a few days ago that had LaMarcus Aldridge unhappy in Portland and potentially wanting out, the impending denial from Aldridge that was almost certainly on the way was completely expected.

With no leverage to force a trade out of town, and with Aldridge being one of the team’s two cornerstones along with Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard, there was no way that the Blazers would succumb to any demands to trade Aldridge to another team for pennies on the dollar.

The denial came on Saturday, when Aldridge came out and said that he hasn’t demanded a trade form the Blazers.

From Joe Freeman of The Oregonian:

In an e-mail to The Oregonian, Aldridge said he has not asked to be traded and expressed tempered enthusiasm about the Blazers’ prospects in free agency, which opens July 1.

“I haven’t demanded a trade,” Aldridge said in the e-mail.

“I’m looking forward to who we sign in free agency to make us better,” Aldridge said in the e-mail.

Obviously, none of what Aldridge said here means that he’s actually happy in Portland. But he wanted to quell the rumors that he was asking out, and did so successfully with this correspondence.

Aldridge has two years left on a contract that will pay him in excess of $14 million and $15 million in each of the following seasons. There are teams out there that would love to have a chance at prying him from the Blazers, but Portland seems intent on building around their All-Star forward, and Aldridge, based on this acknowledgement of public perception, likely realized it.

Khris Middleton dunks, Jimmy Butler can’t stop him (VIDEO)

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Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.

Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.

Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.