LaMarcus Aldridge remains the biggest name on the free agent market who still has yet to choose his destination.
It appears to be a two-team race between the Lakers and the Spurs, with Los Angeles reportedly being granted a second chance to convince Aldridge that the Lakers may potentially be the best choice. But the Suns, too, seem to believe they have an outside chance of luring Aldridge to play in the desert.
The option of returning to Portland seems to be out of the question. But one of Aldridge’s teammates plans to make a last-ditch plea to him to try to keep the Blazers together, at least in terms of the team’s star players.
There’s yet another wrinkle, too, as the agent for Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard, Aaron Goodwin, told USA TODAY Sports that his client is planning an impromptu visit to Los Angeles to try and convince his former teammate to stay.
Lillard, who finalized a five-year extension worth between $125 and $129 million on Thursday, just returned from a promotional trip in Paris. The relationship between those two players has been a focal point of Aldridge’s possible departure from Portland, but Lillard is determined to send a clear message that theirs is a powerful pairing that should not come to an end.
This is an underrated aspect of free agent recruiting. Aldridge obviously has a certain comfort level in Portland, and if Lillard can convince him that he will acquiesce to a certain point in order for Aldridge to still be perhaps the more prominent piece, then that, along with the money the Blazers have to offer (more than anyone else) could be enough to force him to at least take a long hard look at remaining with the Blazers.