Despite LaMarcus Aldridge announcing that he’s happy playing for the Portland Trail Blazers, it seems that his reps are trying to see what the team is willing to trade him for. The good news for them? The Blazers are willing to discuss a trade. The bad news? For only a specific number of players, and they don’t want draft picks involved.
In short? The Blazers want the rarest thing of all in NBA trading – a player for player trade, without additional contracts to make it worthwhile, with both men arguably of the same kind of value. The shortlist? Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls, Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers, Al Horford of the Atlanta Hawks and Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans.
The only team to actually get into some sort of discussion with the Blazers about a possible trade, as far as we know, are the Chicago Bulls, who tried to move Luol Deng’s expiring contract, which matches Aldridge’s $14 million salary next season. However, the Blazers already have a small forward they love, but not a center, and tried to get Joakim Noah out of the deal, which is something the Bulls wouldn’t listen to.
According to CSNNW.com, Aldridge’s representatives have met with the Blazers in an attempt to see what options are there. Aldridge has two more years with $30 million left on his deal. The Blazers have a talented backcourt with Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, not to mention Batum on the wing as well. But they didn’t get the center some expected them to go after, leaving them with no big expiring contract and not a lot of room to significantly improve next season.
There is time for the Blazers before they need to feel a bit of panic about moving Aldridge. A good season, which means making the postseason, should quell some of his worries about the team not going anywhere, but it doesn’t seem like the ceiling is too high for the franchise at the moment.
Aldridge hasn’t demanded a trade, and has no problem returning to the Blazers for next season, but he wouldn’t be too crushed if he found out he was traded to a different team, preferably one with a bit more immediate chances to succeed in the playoffs.