Birnbach: Blazers GM Neil Olshey Says F LaMarcus Aldridge Is "Happy" In Portland, Sees Team's "Plan"

Steve Dykes-US PRESSWIRE

Portland Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey addresses trade rumors surrounding All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge.

Portland Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey introduced new guard Mo Williams, signed as a free agent this week, during a press conference at the Rose Garden on Thursday. A transcript of that press conference will be up shortly.

During the press conference, Olshey indicated that All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge was "excited" by Williams' signing. Earlier this summer, Olshey indicated that Aldridge was also "pleased" with the addition of Robin Lopez.

Following the press conference, Olshey offered this answer to Craig Birnbach of KATU when asked where this summer's LaMarcus Aldridge trade rumors come from.

Where do LaMarcus Aldridge trade rumors come from?

"I think it comes from all you [media] -- everybody fighting to be first with inaccurate information. I can tell you, LaMarcus Aldridge, you guys have known him longer than I have. And if he had asked to be traded, he would have told people that he asked to be traded. He never asked to be traded.

"The fact that I had breakfast in a hotel lobby with [Arn Tellem], one of my oldest and best friends who I worked with for seven years, who also represents Robin Lopez and Dorell Wright, along with LaMarcus Aldridge, probably doesn't lead to the fact that we're trying to trade LaMarcus Aldridge.

"But, you know, like I said, it's part of the business. LaMarcus understands it. He ignores it. If [Aldridge requesting a trade]  was the case, we'd be dealing with it. It's not. He's happy.

"I think last year was a tough year for everybody. Portland is not a market that accepts losing. We'd tried not to rebuild but we always tried to be somewhat judicious in terms of how much future flexibility we gave away. To be honest with you, that's the results of this offseason. Had we done more minor moves and put more assets in play, moved more draft picks, there wouldn't have been a [Thomas] Robinson or a Robin Lopez. If we had given long-term deals to guys we weren't totally sure on, there wouldn't have been a Mo Williams today.

"I think what LaMarcus sees now -- like what you just brought up -- there is a plan. And we're executing the plan and we're going to stay disciplined and stay diligent about getting there as quickly as possible without jeopardizing the long-term health of the franchise.

"One thing we have to remember: LaMarcus is only 27. He's been here a long time but he's a young player in our league, in terms of how long his career is going to be. It will all work out really well in the end as long as we all stay on the same path."

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

Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com 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.

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.

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

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