Jun 26

Quick: Aldridge Unhappy, But Trade Not Imminent

By caseyholdahl

Jason Quick of The Oregonian, fresh from the College World Series, writes today about the situation regarding LaMarcus Aldridge's satisfaction, or lack thereof, in Portland. Quick lays out the case, from Aldridge not renewing local sponsorships and leases on an apartment in the Pearl District to a contentious conversation he had with Aldridge in the finals days of the 2012-13 regular season, that Aldridge is ready to end his seven-year stint with the Trail Blazers.

There's plenty in Quick's column to digest, so I suggest you read it in full (as if you haven't already). But for me, the crux of the column is this: Aldridge may in fact be unhappy in Portland, but that doesn't mean Neil Olshey feels any rush to trade him.
But Olshey is not in the business to make players happy. He is in the business of making the Blazers better. And if there has been one consistent with Aldridge throughout his seven years in Portland, it’s that he puts up somewhere around 21 points and 8 rebounds a game whether he is happy, unhappy or indifferent to what direction the Blazers are headed.

Still, it is an interesting proposition for Olshey as he embarks on his second summer of reshaping the franchise. Aldridge has two years remaining on his contract in Portland. He has no leverage to demand a trade right now. But he will after this season, when he can enter his final season in Portland with a threat to walk into free agency, leaving the Blazers with nothing in return, except for some salary cap relief.

So it might be wise for Olshey to shop Aldridge and see what he could net in return. If it’s not a Horford, or a Davis, then play on. Get another All-Star caliber season out of Aldridge.
Quick also has Olshey on record saying that the Trail Blazers aren't actively shopping Aldridge, but that they'd listen to offers. As for the players who Portland would consider in trade, Quick floats the likes of Horford, Davis, Brook Lopez and Blake Griffin, so basically All-Star caliber players.

And that's why, like Quick, I don't see something happening with Aldridge during tonight's draft (I'll be live from the Barclay's Center with updates, by the way). The offers we've been hearing, from Cleveland's draft picks to Chicago's Loul Deng, are either way short of being equal value or incongruous with the the talent that currently exists on Portland's roster.

I don't know if Aldridge really is fed up with Portland, but after missing the playoffs for the second-straight season and finishing the year on a 13-game losing streak, I think it's fair to assume he'd like to see progress being made. But the question is, will that progress come by way of putting better players around him in Portland or by finding a trade that nets Portland a player of Aldridge's talent level?


  1. Honestly this is heart breaking to me. I can understand why Aldridge is unhappy but i am tired of being the team all stars do not want to play for. I understand we are a small market team but we have a large market owner and a fan base that is better than most. I do think that Lillard is the key to a deep play off run but that is only if aldridge stays. It may not happen this year but it will happen. My worry is if he leaves then by the time we get around to being a team others talk about again it will be to late and lillard will be opting out. Why did Roy have to get hurt things have sure spiraled out of control since then he must have been the glue. But i guess that what we get for being fans of Portland Heart ache after heart ache.

    by Avgjoe28 on 6/27/2013 6:06 AM
  2. I disagree that its all about maximizing a players trade value. If we dont get rid of LA now we wont be able to sign Hickson, and if youre really concerned about the best interest of the franchise, time spent together > money

    by EZfasheazy on 6/27/2013 9:44 AM
  3. I agree that if LA really wants out then we should sign Hickson he put up big numbers when he took LA spot when he was hurt. But they need to make that choice fast. DO NOT LET Hickson go if we are going to trade aldridge.

    by Avgjoe28 on 6/27/2013 12:12 PM
  4. by Avgjoe28 on 6/27/2013 12:12 PM
  5. I'd have to agree. If LMA is set on leaving, we should seize the opportunity to keep J.J. If we wait too long then J.J. will be off the market and we won't have either. They both work for Portland. Lets not lose both.

    by Niki C on 6/28/2013 3:17 AM
  6. the question is, does LaMarcus really "want out?" all i'm hearing is unsubstantiated rumors from an anonymous "source." even if it turns out to be true, i'll wait to see it become fact rather fiction.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 6/28/2013 8:51 AM
  7. by Kassandra on 6/28/2013 8:52 AM
  8. by Kassandra on 6/28/2013 8:53 AM
  9. I listened to LA's exit interview and for Quick to twist this into an "I'm not happy" story is suspect at best. What I've heard LaMarcus say repeatedly is that he loves Portland, wants a championship here and his jersey retired next to John Lucas's jersey. I think sensationalist journalism is in play here. Taking LA's statement that he's here now and who knows what will happen down the road and turning it into, "Portland is boring" is just journalism at it's worst. If LaMarcus wants to demand a trade, I've yet to hear him say it. Why would he want out before he knows what the team will look like next season? I know it's a slow season in NBA rumor land but I don't buy whatever Quick is spinning here. There have been people calling to trade LA for a whole season but I for one am not part of that movement. You don't trade your allstar unless you have to and it makes you better. Other than LeBron, who makes us better without LaMarcus? I don't think there's a big man in the league that would improve our roster without LA on the team.

    by riverman on 6/29/2013 4:58 PM
  10. Also as much as I like Damian, he's not on Lamarcus's level yet. Not even close. He's good, real good but he's not an allstar until he's an allstar. LaMarcus is the face of the Blazers in my eyes.

    by riverman on 6/29/2013 5:01 PM
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