Blazers F LaMarcus Aldridge Talks Trade Rumors, Offseason Moves

Greg Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Portland Trail Blazers All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge says that he was displeased with Portland's 2012-13 season but not to the point where he felt an immediate change of scenery was needed.

Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports on Twitter that Portland Trail Blazers All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge was displeased with Portland's 2012-13 season but not to the point where he felt an immediate change of scenery was needed.

Blazers' [LaMarcus Aldridge] tells Yahoo Sports he was extremely frustrated with last season but not to the point where he asked for a trade.

"I wasnt ready to make a move yet. I was just frustrated in the moment. I haven't given Neil (Olshey) a chance yet," [Aldridge]  told Yahoo.

Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com also reported some extended comments from Aldridge on Saturday.

There was a report that you believed Portland was "too small" and "too boring" of a city. What's your response to that?

"Nah, that's not true. I'm a quiet person that keeps to himself, really. Portland doesn't bother me. I don't have an issue with the city of Portland. I've been there my whole career. I like the smallness of it and the passionate fans. That's not true at all."

...
You told Yahoo! Sports that you have to at least give Neil Olshey a chance to get his personnel on board. What did you mean by that and what was your mindset going into this offseason?

"I was just frustrated with how we ended the season. I've been on a team where we were one of the top four teams in the Western Conference. I know what that feels like and to go through what we went through last season was disappointing. At this stage of my career, it's all about winning for me. I don't care where it's at, I just want to win. But I never asked to be traded. And Neil told me when he came in that we had some holes on the roster and to give him an opportunity to make things right here. I just had to keep that in mind. But it was just a tough season for me last year."

...
CSNNW.com reported that if moves weren't made to your liking, you would prefer to be moved. Was that accurate?

"Yeah, but I don't have to worry about that because we've added some good pieces this summer and I'm looking forward to working with them."

When you're a free agent in 2015, what are the chances you re-sign with Portland?

"I'm not the kind of person that thinks that far ahead because I feel like you won't be doing all you can at the current time to help your team. I'm focused on next season and how we can come together to be a playoff team. That's the only thing on my mind."

Aldridge's name has been in trade rumors throughout the summer.

Haynes previously reported that Aldridge's representatives met with Blazers GM Neil Olshey in Las Vegas to discuss trade possibilities.

Olshey told Blazersedge in July that his discussions with Aldridge would remain private, but that Aldridge was "pleased" with Portland's 2013 offseason. Olshey said in August that Aldridge is "happy" and "excited" and that he sees the team's plan.

Blazers coach Terry Stotts told Blazersedge in July that he's received no indication of unhappiness from Aldridge this summer.

Earlier this summer, Aldridge told multiple media outlets, including The Oregonian, that he had not gone to management to demand a trade.

"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.

Aldridge also replied "no" to a fan asking on Twitter asking him whether he was leaving the Blazers.

Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune reported that Aldridge told a reporter that he did in fact go to Olshey to request a trade.

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

Jason Quick of The Oregonian reported that Aldridge "wants out" of Portland and believes the city is "too small" and "too boring." 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.

Back 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, 28, is under contract through the 2014-15 season. He averaged 21.1 points and a career-high 9.1 rebounds last season.

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

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