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.

Watch Carmelo Anthony’s first bucket as a Trail Blazer

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That Carmelo Anthony started the first game he played for Portland speaks to why they signed him in the first place — this team is so shorthanded along the front line that the guy they just signed got thrown into the fire.

Anthony responded with a solid level of play. His first bucket was a wing three where both defenders went to CJ McCollum and left ‘Melo wide open.

Anthony played 12 minutes in the first half and had 7 points, 3 rebounds, 1 block, and three fouls. The team was looking to keep him at around 20 minutes for his first game back.

Portland led New Orleans 54-53 at the half.

How a single computer folder and dogged HR official exposed former Kings executive’s $13.4M embezzlement scheme

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Just how close did Jeff David come to getting away with embezzling $13.4 million from the Kings while working for them? He already secured a new job with the Heat and was in the process of moving from Sacramento to Miami.

Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN:

On this Monday, walking through the Davids’ new front door is a dizzying procession of cable guys, utility workers and movers. Amid all of this, Jeff receives a phone call from a former co-worker with the Kings. Her name is Stacy Wegzyn, and she works in HR. Jeff last remembers sitting in her office in Sacramento just months earlier, being told that the Kings were going to eliminate his position. After a few pleasantries, she gets down to business. She tells Jeff she’s been going through his old files, and in doing so she found one labeled “TurboTax” that references an entity called Sacramento Sports Partners.

“I was just curious what that is and if those are documents that should go to somebody else,” Wegzyn says.

It’s a seemingly innocuous inquiry from an HR lifer. But it’s one that will dictate the rest of Jeff David’s life. If he knows that — or senses it — he doesn’t let on.

“No, no, no,” Jeff responds. “That was a … man, this is taking me back. Maybe 2015?”

Wegzyn presses on. She asks Jeff whether the documents contain anything that anyone with the Kings needs to see. Jeff assures her they can trash them because the entity isn’t around anymore. A few minutes after he hangs up, his mother-in-law, Nancy, is standing at the front door when an FBI investigator appears, asking to speak to Jeff.

If you like the NBA or true crime – let alone both – I HIGHLY recommend reading Arnovitz’s full piece. It’s riveting!

Warriors Kevon Looney cleared for on-court basketball work, will return soon

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At least someone on the Warriors is getting healthy.

Big man Kevon Looney, who played opening night and has since been sidelined with a sore hamstring and neuropathy (what the team described as “nerve-related symptoms”), has been cleared to return to on-court basketball activities, the team announced Tuesday. From the official press release:

He will participate in select practice sessions with the Santa Cruz Warriors this week and will re-join the Golden State Warriors over the weekend. We will continue to monitor his progress and will provide another update on his status on Sunday.

Looney has already been officially assigned to Santa Cruz.

This is good news for the Warriors, who have been starting Willie Cauley-Stein but desperately need more shot blocking and depth up front.

Anyone getting healthy is good news for a Warriors team that is 2-12 and has the worst net rating in the NBA (-10.4).

Carmelo Anthony to start first game for Portland, apparently thinks he’s wearing number infinity

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Carmelo Anthony will wear No. 00 with the Trail Blazers.

Why?

Apparently because 00 kind of looks like ∞.

Anthony:

Somewhere, Kyrie Irving is nodding in support.

In terms of numbers that make sense…

Marc J. Spears of ESPN:

That’s a sizable role for a 35-year-old in his first game in more than a year. But Portland needs scoring with Damian Lillard sidelined, and – at last check (though, again, a while ago), Anthony was accustomed to big minutes.

Besides, we all want ample opportunity to see Anthony back on the court after his lengthy absence.