I can already hear the groans of Rip City reading the title of this blog. "Another
LaMarcus Aldridge trade rumor? Please, just make it stop!" True. Over the course of the summer, Aldridge rumors have been brought up frequently, but none with any real sticking power or any that passed the smell test. So, no harm, no foul, right? These trade proposals, the ones Grantland's Zach Lowe talks about, are for the fan who loves to cook up complex and unrealistic deals on ESPN's Trade Machine
and doesn't wait a minute to blow up his favorite team's roster in NBA2K's Franchise Mode. In this article, Lowe also goes in great detail about Portland's new strategy on defending pick-and-rolls, why it will take a defensive improvement to make the playoffs out West, and how the roster is taking shape for a big splash in the summer of 2015. But without further ado, here are Lowe's three favorite fake LaMarcus Aldridge trade scenarios
should the team decide to move him.
LaMarcus Aldridge for Blake Griffin
Aldridge for Blake Griffin straight-up. The Clips get a veteran pick-and-pop partner for Chris Paul in their pursuit of a ring right now, while Portland gets a star locked into a long-term deal. File this as damn near impossible; the Clips aren't trading the guy who re-created their franchise.
LaMarcus Aldridge for Greg Monroe, Young Wing (Say Kentavious Caldwell-Pope), Rodney Stuckey, and a future 1st Round Pick
Aldridge to Detroit for Greg Monroe, one of Detroit's young wings, one future first-round pick, and the expiring contract of Rodney Stuckey. The Pistons get a big man who can actually shoot, a legit no. 1 option for their funky roster, and they don't have to worry about David Falk's inevitable demand for a Monroe max contract. The Blazers get a young big who is already a borderline All-Star, and some other goodies.
LaMarcus Aldridge for Serge Ibaka, Jeremy Lamb and a two future 1st Round Picks
Aldridge to Oklahoma City for Serge Ibaka, Jeremy Lamb, and two future first-round picks. Wouldn't this be fun? Sure, it creates some tax issues for OKC in 2014-15 and beyond, but good luck dealing with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Aldridge. Still: The Thunder may look at this as a major defensive downgrade, and as a needlessly complicated introduction of someone unwilling to play the third banana.
Personally, if I had to rank Lowe's trades in order of most desirable, it would go Detroit, Los Angeles, Oklahoma City. The Pistons package would give the Trail Blazers another budding star at power forward in Monroe, who is a little underappreciated because he plays on a squad that doesn't get much limelight, along with a two-guard Portland brought in for a draft workout in KCP (who I value higher than Jeremy Lamb for what it's worth), and a potential lottery pick down the road. While Griffin brings a lot of value in marketability alone, he's also four years younger than Aldridge, which fits in nicer with the core of Lillard and Batum, and he's locked up through the 2017 season
. As for the Thunder, well...I'd rather let LA walk for nothing in 2015 than deal him to OKC and turn them into a dynasty. Also, how good would their draft picks even be with a Big 3 of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Aldridge? Pass.
How do you feel about Lowe's proposals, Rip City? Any of them make you stop and think for a second? Or is it keep LA or bust?