LaMarcus Aldridge has said he has not requested a trade — but he has admitted to frustration. He has said he likes the team’s off-season moves and wants to see if they can win in Portland.
But somebody around Aldridge is talking. Reportedly he has his eye on the door when he’s a free agent in two years and his people even set up a meeting this summer with Blazers GM Neil Olshey to discuss trade options.
At Trail Blazers media day Olshey was asked about the Aldridge trade rumors and he just about lost it. Here is the quote, via Ben Golliver of Blazers Edge.
“Oh dear God, would you guys get over it? How many — asked and answered. Thank you [to CSNNW.com’s Chris Haynes], by the way. What else, guys? Show me a media report where LaMarcus Aldridge has said anything other than, ‘I hope the team improves, I’m excited about what we did, I want to get better and I want to win.’ Then we can have a conversation. Until then, let’s move on. OK? Is that possible?
“It’s not breaking news, dude. We covered it in July. Guys, let’s talk about something, someone has got to have a better question than that.”
If Olshey wants and overly-dramatic audition tape to get on Big Brother next summer, he should send in this press conference. Nice performance.
He went on offense against the rumors but his logic is flawed. Players under contract do not say they want to be traded because if they did the league would fine them (heavily) and the fan base in the city they are in would turn on them fast. So disgruntled players have their agents or entourages express their frustrations to the media. Meanwhile other front office guys around the league talk a little, and when asked by trusted reporters about who they heard might be available names come up.
Olshey would like these Aldridge rumors to go away, but it’s clear someone around Aldridge does not fully trust Olshey and the Trail Blazers front office to build an actual winner with him as one of the corner stones. Aldridge has two seasons left on his current deal and this is when the discussion comes up (this is the time in his contract when Deron Williams was traded from the Jazz to the Nets).
The question is not going away. The one way to really quiet it down is build a winner, and Portland made some nice steps that direction this summer. But until there is a trade or a contract extension, this is a valid question Olshey, sorry.