Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune reports that Portland Trail Blazers All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge has expressed a desire to re-sign in Portland.
For the first time, Aldridge is thinking he'd like to sit down with [Blazers GM Neil] Olshey and negotiate a contract extension.
"I would like to re-sign here," he says. "If they want to talk about it, I would talk about it. They haven't yet, but I'm looking forward to the chance to do that."
If Olshey is prepared to make that happen, he's not revealing it to the media.
"When the appropriate time comes, which is not now, that is a conversation that will happen between (owner) Paul Allen, myself, LaMarcus and his agent (Arn Tellem)," Olshey says. "It's not a conversation that's going to play out in the media in January."
The full story -- which touches on Aldridge's development as a player, his thoughts on center Robin Lopez, his place among the franchise's all-time leaders, his unhappiness last year, and other topics -- is right here.
Update (Monday): Aldridge was asked about his comments by Brian Wheeler and Antonio Harvey on Blazers Courtside. The video should go up online here eventually.
Comments about re-signing
"I told the truth. I love my teammates. This team is a really good team. I feel like we can go far this year and even further next year. I'm going to come back."
This year's team
"It's special. I've never been on a team where the players play so unselfish. We've had good teams, but this team everybody makes the extra, extra pass. Everybody wants to win, I feel like I've never had this before. I feel like we just click. It's a whole bunch of guys that just want to win games."
A few more quotes from Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com...
"I just decided to say it," Aldridge told CSNNW.com. "I couldn't tell you when I wanted to commit here. All I know is that I want to be here. I didn't have that moment or anything like that, and I don't know when I started to feel like this. But I want to be here."
"[Blazers GM] Neil [Olshey] did a great job of bringing in what we needed. He worked with me throughout the process. I'm happy. We're winning and we look good. Look, I just want to win."
These comments continue a string of increasingly optimistic and happy statements from Aldridge this season. As recently as a few weeks ago, Aldridge was still non-committal about the possibility of an extension.
From an interview with Chris Broussard of ESPN...
"I'm here. I love it here. This team is good and we're winning. I've been here my whole career. I'm in the history books here. I don't want to leave. I feel this team is good enough to win it all one day and be there."
Would you sign an extension?
I'm happy. I'm going to cross that bridge after the season. I'm happy that the team is winning. I feel like we have a great group of guys that plays very unselfish. That whole thing last summer was just about losing so many games in a row and not winning. Now we're winning, and guys are getting better every year and that's great.
Here are some ballpark parameters on an Aldridge extension via StoryTeller.
An extension can only be for up to four years, including the existing years on the current contract. If they push off signing an extension until the 2014-15 season (starting July 1), he could sign for an additional three years.
A three-year extension (signed after July 1) with 7.5% raises would be for approximately $55.5 million.
2013-14: $14.9 million (with likely incentives)
2014-15: $16.0 million (with likely incentives)
2015-16 extension amount: $17.2 million
2016-17 extension amount: $18.5 million
2017-18 extension amount: $19.8 million
Such a deal would carry Aldridge through his age-32 season.
Earlier in December, Aldridge told Jim Rome that he was "happy" and that he was being "overly emotional" when he was upset with the state of the Blazers at the end of the 2012-13 season.
Aldridge predicted back in October that the Blazers would make the playoffs as the Western Conference's No. 7 seed.
Back at Media Day, Aldridge said that he was "happy" and that the chatter was "blown out of proportion."
A trail of Aldridge's comments from last summer, dating back to the 2013 exit interviews in April, can be found here.
Aldridge, 28, is averaging 23.6 points, 11 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game (all career-highs) this season. He is on the books this season for $14.9 million and he will make $16 million in 2014-15.
He would become an unrestricted free agent in July 2015 if he is unable to reach a contract extension with the Blazers.
Be sure to follow the new official @Blazersedge Twitter account right here.
-- Ben Golliver | email@example.com | Twitter