Freeman: Blazers F LaMarcus Aldridge To Pass On Contract Extension This Summer

Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge will reportedly wait until next summer to sign his next contract.

Joe Freeman of The Oregonian reports on Twitter that Portland Trail Blazers All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge will not sign a contract extension this summer, deciding to wait until 2015 instead.

Aldridge said it makes most sense financially to wait because he can sign for more years (5) and make more money ($108 million) next year.

Aldridge: "I'm happy to stay (in Portland), happy to be here, happy with the direction the team has gone the last year or 2. But I just want to get a 5-year deal. I feel like that's the best decision on my part."

Aldridge said he wants to finish his career in Portland. One reason why: "I want to be the best Blazer. Ever."

His full story is up right here.

This decision was expected given the financial advantages of waiting.

The Blazers reportedly offered Aldridge a maximum contract extension back in June. If Aldridge signed this summer, he could only earn $55.5 million over three years. If he waits to sign until next summer, he can receive $108 million over five years.

Aldridge, 28, averaged a career-high 23.2 points and 11.1 rebounds in 69 appearances for the Blazers last season, earning All-Star and All-NBA Third Team honors. He scored 46 points in Game 1 and 43 points in Game 2 of a first-round series against the Houston Rockets, helping lead the Blazers to the Western Conference semifinals for the first time since 2000.

Aldridge is about to enter the final season of a five-year, $65 million deal that will pay him $16 million for the 2014-15 campaign.

Rumors swirled around Aldridge's happiness in Portland last summer, but the Blazers' surprising 54-win season flipped that story on its head.

Back in January, Aldridge told Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune that he wanted to sign an extension to remain in Portland.

"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."

Aldridge was asked about those comments by Brian Wheeler and Antonio Harvey on Blazers Courtside.

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."

During his exit interview in May, Aldridge dodged all questions about his contract.

Contract status: "I'm not even talking about it yet. We just finished the season. I'm still focused on watching film and seeing what happened last series and relaxing for a little bit."

This year compared to last year: "The feeling in this city and this organization as a whole has been night and day. Everybody in this city is excited about our growth, where we've grown to this year. ... Every person in the organization is excited to go to work again. Thinking about playoffs and how good everyone played this year. It's not just me, the whole city has a different vibe about us."

How are you feeling: "I'm fine. This was my healthiest season in awhile. I'm like wine, getting better as I get older."

Here's what Olshey had to say on the subject during his exit interview.

Neil, will you negotiate to extend LaMarcus Aldridge's contract this summer?

Olshey: When the appropriate time comes, clearly. The most important thing is everybody, including LaMarcus, knows he's the number one priority in the organization right now, and when that business needs to be handled and the timing is absolutely right, it's clearly a goal of ours to keep LaMarcus here long-term. LaMarcus knows that, his agents know that, we're aware of it, and like I said, there's economic issues at play that make things more complicated -- not on our end -- from a collective bargaining standpoint, the timing of players' extensions, in terms of maximizing their window.

I went through this in Los Angeles, where you could extend somebody early, but economically, it was better for them to wait an extra year so they could get the longer-term deal. So these are all things that will be worked out with LaMarcus, his agent. I think the big thing is that LaMarcus wants to be here and clearly we want him here. That's the challenging part. The economics take care of themselves.

Aldridge will become an unrestricted free agent in July 2015.

Blazersedge's salary cap guru Storyteller had a lengthy breakdown of Aldridge's contract options right here.

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

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