Blazers F LaMarcus Aldridge Says He Hasn't Issued Trade Demand

Steve Dykes-US PRESSWIRE

Portland Trail Blazers All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge says he has not made a trade demand.

Joe Freeman of The Oregonian reports that Portland Trail Blazers All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge says he has not made a trade demand.

In an e-mail to The Oregonian, Aldridge said he has not asked to be traded and expressed tempered enthusiasm about the Blazers' prospects in free agency, which opens July 1.

"I haven't demanded a trade," Aldridge said in the e-mail.

...

"I'm looking forward to who we sign in free agency to make us better," Aldridge said in the e-mail.

Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com reports a similar sentiment from Aldridge.

"I haven't demanded a trade or cleared a way for my departure," Aldridge told CSNNW.com in a brief phone conversation. "It's not true. That's all I am saying right now."

...

On draft night Olshey told CSNNW.com there was nothing to talk about regarding Aldridge reportedly wanting out.

Update: John Canzano of The Oregonian adds this...

I replied, "Is there any part of you that is frustrated?"

Aldridge wrote: "This has blown up too far."

The statements from Aldridge come after a few days of reports indicating that he wasn't totally satisfied in Portland and that he might want out if improvements to the roster aren't made. As of now, though, no reports have definitively stated that Aldridge went to management to request or demand a trade.

Aldridge's statements to the media outlets lacked any specific commitment to the Blazers next season.

Update (Sunday): Aldridge replied "no" to a fan asking on Twitter asking him whether he was leaving the Blazers. Hat tip: Casey Holdahl, Blazers.com right here.

K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reported Thursday that Aldridge's agency has "suggested" the possibility that Aldridge might land with the Chicago Bulls, among other possibilities.

Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com reported Thursday that Aldridge "loves Portland" but is interested in a trade if substantial improvements to the roster aren't made. The Bulls and Dallas Mavericks were listed as his desired destinations.

Jason Quick of The Oregonian reported Wednesday that Aldridge "wants out" of Portland and believes the city is "too small" and "too boring." Blazers GM Neil Olshey was quoted as saying that he wasn't making outgoing trade calls about Aldridge but that he would listen if the phone rang, and that Aldridge hadn't yet issued a trade demand.

A report from Illinois on Wednesday suggested that Aldridge wanted to "escape" Portland and play for the Bulls.

Multiple reports indicated that the Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers had trade discussions surrounding Aldridge.

A Blazers spokesperson told Blazersedge on Wednesday that 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.

Early last 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 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 EatPoliticians in the FanShots.

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

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