Kevin Yeung of RipCityProject.com takes up the discussion of whether the Portland Trail Blazers should trade All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge, noting that his age relative to other key members of the team.
As good as Aldridge is, he's 28 next month. Damian Lillard and Nicolas Batum are 22 and 24 respectively, and their best years lie ahead of them. Aldridge will be on the wrong side of 30 when they hit their prime. Could the Blazers conceivably be a contender with an aging Aldridge? I'm hesitant to say yes, and it would require a lot more depth than what they have now. It's hard to imagine them rising to that level.
By flipping Aldridge for young assets such as center Nerlens Noel via the first overall pick and one of Tristan Thompson/Dion Waiters, the Trail Blazers could add a bunch of good young players that can all reach their prime at once. Flipping Aldridge for two players also helps with the problem of depth, and from what we have seen so far, Lillard seems like a mature enough figure to replace Aldridge as a leader. Throw in some veteran leadership, some complimentary role players (and while very raw, Meyers Leonard is still a very nice asset to have alongside the other young players), and there you have a foundation that could be better to work with.
Portland doesn't even have to trade with Cleveland. With LaMarcus Aldridge as a trade asset, there could be significant trade interest out there, which is why Portland would be wise to at least examine their options. Any number of teams could be interested in trading significant young assets for an All-Star like Aldridge.
One local writer suggested recently that the Blazers put out trade feelers for Aldridge.
A number of national NBA writers discussed the possibility of the Blazers trading Aldridge to the Cleveland Cavaliers for a package that would include the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft back in May.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter