McGraw: LaMarcus Aldridge Wants To "Escape" Blazers And Play For Bulls

USA TODAY Sports

A report out of Illinois indicates that Portland Trail Blazers All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge wants to play for the Chicago Bulls.

Mike McGraw of the Daily Herald reports that Portland Trail Blazers All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge wants to be traded to the Chicago Bulls.

Word is, Aldridge wants to escape from Portland's rebuilding project and has made it known that he'd like to land in Chicago.

Deng for Aldridge won't get it done. The Blazers want Joakim Noah in return and the Bulls don't want to give up the superior defensive big man.

Here's one way to get Portland's attention: Offer Deng and Charlotte's future No. 1 pick. The Bulls are counting on that Bobcats' pick (acquired for Thomas, ironically), to pay off big, because it's unprotected in 2016.

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.

Chad Ford of ESPN.com reported Wednesday that there is a "solid chance" Aldridge is traded this summer.

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.

PS Thanks to Callesyes and Instigator4Life in the FanShots.

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

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