Ford: "Solid Chance" That Blazers Trade LaMarcus Aldridge This Summer

Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

One national writer believes there is a "solid chance" that the Portland Trail Blazers trade All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge this summer.

Chad Ford of ESPN.com writes in a chat that Portland Trail Blazers All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge could be traded this summer after spending seven seasons with the team...

I think that the Blazers will listen to Aldridge offers. Seriously listen. Given how good he is, I do think there's a solid chance he's played his last game in a Blazers jersey. The Blazers aren't going to give him away obviously, but he's an intriguing trade target for a lot of teams.

A Blazers spokesperson told Blazersedge on Wednesday that GM Neil Olshey -- who has been in his annual media blackout for pre-draft preparations -- was "unavailable for comment" regarding Aldridge trade rumors and reports.

Earlier this week, Aldridge's name was put out there as a possible candidate for a draft week trade.

Back in May, there was some chatter that Aldridge might be traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers for the No. 1 pick.

Also in May, Aldridge offered this assessment of his standing with the Blazers.

LA: You know, as of now I'm here and we have a great team. I'm here now and we have a team that can definitely get better next year and we have cap room so we can bring in players. So I'm definitely here, and we'll see what happens.

During his April exit interview, Aldridge suggested it could take two years for the Blazers to return to the playoffs.

Where this team is headed: "This year was a down year. I think it was better than what people thought it would be, it ended bad. I think if we add one or two pieces this summer and we have one OK season, I feel like that following season we should be good, really good."

...

Timeline for improvement: "I think just getting into the playoffs isn't good. I've done that. I think one year of maybe, barely getting in or not getting in, and that next year we should be able to really be serious about it."

Here was Blazers GM Neil Olshey's response to Aldridge's exit interview comments.

I don't think you can speculate today because I don't know what free agency is going to bring, I don't know what the draft is going to bring, I don't know what trades are going to bring. But I know we're going to do everything we can to build the roster. To sit here and put an artificial expectation on what a roster may or may not be when you only have eight returning players and you haven't drafted yet or gone into free agency doesn't make a lot of sense.

But I do know from L.A.'s perspective, we talked, and he knows we're going to be aggressive in building the roster. I'd like to think the improvement from the guys who are already here on top of the guys we're going to bring in will make us a factor faster rather than later.

Aldridge, 27, is under contract through the 2014-15 season.

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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