Fran Blinebury of NBA.com writes that the Portland Trail Blazers need to figure out what to do with All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge, and trading him before this year's trade deadline could be one of the options.
The Blazers official stance is: nothing. That's what general manager Neil Olshey told Aldridge in an October meeting, asking for patience and promising that the power forward would not be traded. But how wise is that from both sides?
If it's going to take Olshey's two-year window to get Aldridge the help he needs, what state will he be in physically, not to mention mentally? Might there come a time, even this season, when L.A. is ready to flee to L.A. or OKC or any other playoff contender with a need for the kind of firepower he brings? In this NBA era that we live, players are far less likely to commit themselves to a franchise for an entire career. How much longer before those around him, or Aldridge himself, conclude it's time to start inching him toward the door?
If you're the Blazers and have seen Aldridge's game deteriorate into mostly jumpers and fadeaways this season, it could be easy to conclude that he's past the point - if he ever was - of being a No. 1 option on a championship contender. If you're already thinking about the next remodeling of the roster, wouldn't it make sense to move the process along with a deal that could bring in young talent to grow at the same pace with Lillard, Leonard and Batum? Of course, the trade deadline isn't till February. But it's already gotten late early in Portland.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter