LaMarcus Aldridge Tweets He's Not Leaving Portland, Thinks Draft Picks Are 'Solid'
On Saturday, both Joe Freeman of The Oregonian
and Chris Haynes of CSNNW
got LaMarcus Aldridge on record, be it via email or phone, saying that he had not requested a trade. Aldridge wrote in an email to The Oregonian that he's “looking forward to who we sign in free agency to make us better” and that the reports he was ready to continue his career somewhere else had "blown up too far.
To me, all of this reads like a team's best player who wants to see his team improve, so he's using what influence he has to get that message across. As I've noted before
, I think that's a very reasonable request for someone in Aldridge's position.
LaMarcus has never much cared for talking. He's noted on countless occasions that he's a big believer of letting his play do the talking, be it when it comes to leadership or public relations. So it's not in his nature to respond to reports about anything, especially in the offseason (LaMarcus is almost as protective of his offseason time as Brandon Roy, who was a ghost between the end of the season and the start of training camp), which is why I believe he hasn't gone out of his way to refute reports that he's unhappy or wants to be traded. And maybe he's trying to exert a little bit of pressure on the front office to improve the team. Maybe.
But at a certain point, I guess a situation gets untenable enough that you feel you have to say something, which is probably why Aldridge went on record with The Oregonian and CSNNW on Saturday. But LaMarcus also made a few statements via Twitter to the same effect ...
Not a whole lot of room for confusion there. Aldridge could have just as easily ignored the question, as I'm he's done to the hundreds of other at replies he's received over the last week asking some variation of this very question, so even though it's a simple answer, I think it comes with some significance.
Aldridge has made a point, in the few statements he's given on the record, that he wants to see the team improve, usually in reference to free agency. But a team can also get better quickly via the draft, as all of us, including Aldridge, saw last season with Damian Lillard. So read what you will into Aldridge's answer to a question about his thought's on Portland's acquisitions during Thursday's draft ...
I think it's worth pointing out that this is a no-win
situation for Aldridge. Refute reports that you want to be traded and
some will respond that you're only saying what you have to say. And once
you refute one report, you have to refute all subsequent reports, as
refuting one but not another leads some to assume the non-refuted report
is true. And then if you don't refute any reports, some take that as an
implicit admission that those reports are true, which is the situation we
saw earlier this week ...
Given the lack of good options, I can understand why he would
choose to keep quiet publicly.