Aug 22

Batum: '(Aldridge) doesn't want to get traded, he wants the team to get better'

By caseyholdahl

Jorge Sierra at has posted a short Q&A with Nicolas Batum covering various topics from his contentious contract negotiations in 2012 to his relationship with the Portland media. He also talks about the reports that LaMarcus Aldridge has requested a trade, reports that Batum obviously doesn't put much stock in ...
Who do you think is going to be the No. 1 guy on the team?

Batum: Although Damian had a great rookie season and has unbelievable talent and a bright future in front of him, I think LaMarcus [Aldridge] is our go-to guy. He is our franchise player. Damian may be a Top 10 point guard in the league right now, but LaMarcus is one of the best three power forwards and maybe No. 1.

There have been these rumors that he has privately demanded a trade from Portland...

Batum: I heard that too and I laughed when I read that. He doesn't want to get traded, he wants the team to get better. LaMarcus is a winner.

He has told you that?

Batum: I mean, I know that's what he wants. We had two bad seasons and missed the playoffs and wants the team to improve. I think he didn't ask for a trade. He wants to stay and win with the Blazers. He just wants a better team around him so we can get back to the playoffs.
Batum's opinion that Aldridge he wants the Trail Blazers to improve more than he wants to be traded is similar to a report that Chris Haynes wrote at the end of June. It's also along the lines of what Aldridge himself has said in the few public statements he's given this offseason. And Neil Olshey has noted on several occasions that Aldridge has been pleased with the teams' personnel moves this offseason, moves which were made, at least in part, to fulfill Aldridge's request of improvement.


  1. Given that we're a minor market and haven't got nearly the bling so many top players seem to want, I think we did remarkably well during the draft and FA. All that kept us out of the playoffs last season was a terrible bench and that seems to have been taken care of very well. I think LA will be very happy this season.

    by dgpdx on 8/22/2013 6:17 PM
  2. LaMarcus wants to win and fans want the team to win, also. There will always be rumors no matter who the star player is.

    by dockaren on 8/22/2013 9:16 PM
  3. Olshey said from the beginning that him or LaMarcus hasn't discussed trade, but it is the GM's job to listen to callers and see what was out there; that IMO is where the rumors came from.

    I think we would have made the Playoffs last year if it wasn't for injury, even without a bench.

    We have enough players coming off the bench that will make LMA better, as he won't be as tired.

    by Hg on 8/22/2013 9:31 PM
  4. Agreed Hg. I think we were painfully close to the playoffs had it not been for the injuries at the end. And that was with no bench. They were scrappy and pulled out wins against some fierce competition. The Blazers (or at least the starting 5) should have gotten more credit for that. Now with all the bench support, who knows. There is definitely great potential. I'm personally very excited. Hopefully LMA is too.

    by Niki C on 8/23/2013 2:16 AM
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