Jun 30

LaMarcus Aldridge Tweets He's Not Leaving Portland, Thinks Draft Picks Are 'Solid'

By caseyholdahl

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.


  1. I had already stated on Kassandra's blog that these rumors are bogus as she says the same thing in her blog.

    Thank you for more info.

    by Hg on 6/30/2013 9:07 AM
  2. Wow he said our draft was "solid" and said "no" with a lower case "n". If he lost his nonchalance, people might start to understand where he comes from.

    by EZfasheazy on 6/30/2013 12:12 PM
  3. Most of this started when Jason Quick of the Oregonian published an article in which he speculated and used third and fourth hand information to ascertain that Aldridge wanted out. Quick took a huge step back in my estimation of him. At the same time, Chris Haynes NAILED the correct story. He said that Aldridge loved Portland and wanted to stay - but if the Blazers didn't improve this year, he would prefer to play elsewhere, probably Chicago or Dallas. Quick needs to do more reporting and less tabloid pieces.

    by dunkonyerhed on 6/30/2013 12:14 PM
  4. ever since Jason Quick's piece (and Chad Ford's comments), i've been telling everyone on this blogger network, twitter and even the message boards here that there are no substantiated reports from LaMarcus that he wants to be traded. i agree with you, Casey, that his requests to improve the team are reasonable. then again, aren't those the requests common among players throughout the league? i rarely read Quick's articles to begin with for the very reason his reporting is outright amateur. let's face it, Quick has never been a beacon of accuracy.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 6/30/2013 4:15 PM
  5. Thanks LA for your quiet. professional approach to this whole mess. Can't really blame you for not wanting those who jump too "quick"ly to have words from you which they can twist to sell copy. Also can't blame you at all for feeling like the Blazers need to improve. Anyone with your competitiveness should have been embarrassed by the Blazers' product for the final games of last season. Want you to know you're greatly appreciated around these parts and we want you to finish your all-star career as a championship winning TrailBlazer!

    by Just Tim on 6/30/2013 4:32 PM
  6. I agree with the comments of Kassandra and dunkonyerhed. I remember back when Webster was here, he once said when Jason Quick entered the locker room something to the effect of a warning: Quicksand is here!

    by dockaren on 6/30/2013 9:29 PM
  7. Am I really the first to say it? Quick ain't fair. ;-)

    by BlazerLoverInLosAngeles on 7/4/2013 8:50 PM
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