Report: LaMarcus Aldridge’s camp suggests trades to Blazers GM

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LaMarcus Aldridge has two years left on his contract, which will pay the 27-year-old All Star forward $30.4 million.

But there have been all kinds of rumblings about him wanting out of the Pacific Northwest, which puts Portland GM Neil Olshey in the same position the Jazz front office was with Deron Williams (and Denver with Carmelo Anthony) — do you trade him soon, closer to the trade deadline in 2015, or not trade him at all.

Aldridge has denied he wants a trade but Chris Haynes at CSNNW.com reports Aldridge’s camp met with the Blazers GM in Vegas to suggest trades for the Blazers best player.

According to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the situation, the meeting was described as being productive with both sides focused on doing what’s best for both parties….

Prospective teams holding the rights to Joakim Noah, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, Al Horford and Anthony Davis, as of now, have declined to involve their franchise players in any potential deals for Aldridge, a league source told CSNNW.com.

There is no kind of deal that is close (although Aldridge’s name has come up in some rumors lately). The Blazers are not just going to trade Aldridge for picks, they want quality back. And as of right now they may not initiate calls.

Aldridge averaged 21.1 points and 9.1 rebounds a game last season, with a PER of 20.4. He is one of the best power forwards in the game right now.

If Portland realizes they are not going to be able to re-sign him when he is a free agent in the summer of 2015 they will be looking to move him. But there is no pressure to do it right now, they can listen to offers that come in and put in him trade packages for the next year. They can be patient and wait for a deal they like.

Which means expect Aldridge back in Portland this fall, playing well for the Blazers as they head into next season with Damian Lillard. But don’t be shocked if Aldridge’s name comes up in trade talks closer to the deadline and next summer.

Celtics to retire Paul Pierce’s number after Cavaliers game in February

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The Celtics already said they’d retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34.

Now, we know when.

Celtics release:

The Boston Celtics announced today that they will retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34 after a mid-season game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, Feb. 11

After? That’s apparently in response to a new rule that penalizes teams not ready to play after a 15-minute halftime. These ceremonies can drag on, and nobody wants to cut Pierce short. I wonder whether this will start a trend of number retirements coming after games.

DeMarcus Cousins on Confederate statues: ‘Take all them motherf—ers down’

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DeMarcus Cousins grew up in Alabama, played collegiately at Kentucky and now plays in New Orleans.

So, yeah, the Pelicans star has an opinion on Confederate statues.

Cousins, via TMZ:

“Take all them motherf*ckers down,” Cousins said … “Take ’em all down.”

These statues glorify people because they fought a war against the United States in the name of preserving the racist institution of slavery.

Not whom I want to honor, either.

Kevin Durant: Kyrie Irving-LeBron James situation ‘just a regular NBA problem’

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Kevin Durant knows something about star teammates not always getting along.

So, the Warriors forward is not freaking out about the disconnect between Kyrie Irving and LeBron James and Irving’s subsequent trade request.

Durant, via Chris Haynes of ESPN:

“It’s just a regular NBA problem, right? A lot of teams have gone through this before,” Durant told ESPN. “They’ll figure it out. That’s a great organization, a championship organization. They’ll figure it out.”

“It’s not the end of the world,” Durant said. “Both of those guys won a championship together. They love each other. If Kyrie wants to do something else, that’s on him. I’m sure whatever happens, it’ll work out for the best for both of them. But it’s just a normal NBA problem. It’s just two big stars that it’s happening to.”

Durant is definitely right in the larger sense. Teammates spat and requests trades more often than we realize. Remember, both Irving and the Cavaliers probably prefer this never became public.

But I’m not sure Cleveland will figure this out with the ease Durant suggests. David Griffin, who had proven so adept at putting out these fires, is gone. LeBron’s free agency looms. This could be extremely destructive to the Cavs.

The fact that this “regular NBA problem” became public only intensifies it – and raises it something greater.

Report: Heat signing Jordan Mickey

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Jordan Mickey – the No. 33 pick by the Celtics in 2015 – became the first second-round pick in memory to sign the year he was drafted and receive a higher initial salary than first-round picks.

He’s keeping the checks coming.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Mickey will be the Heat’s 16th player with a standard contract, though Matt Williams (unguaranteed) will likely be waived to meet the regular-season roster limit.

I’m not sure where Mickey fits on this team, which already has several bigs. Hassan Whiteside, Bam Adebayo and Kelly Olynyk will likely play ahead of him. Miami also has A.J. Hammons (who might be just dead salary) and Udonis Haslem (who might provide nothing more than veteran leadership).

The Heat could just see Mickey as someone they can develop. At that point, how he fits into the current roster doesn’t really matter.

Mickey – 6-foot-8 with a 7-foot-3 wingspan – is a mobile defender with nice timing for blocking shots inside. He even possesses a work-in-progress 3-pointer in his arsenal. There’s plenty for Miami to help mold.