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Haynes: LaMarcus Aldridge "Loves Portland" But Interested In Trade To Bulls, Mavericks, Clippers If Blazers Don't Improve

Portland Trail Blazers All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge reportedly wants to see improvements made around him on the roster and is interested in a trade if moves aren't made.

Jonathan Ferrey

Chris Haynes of reports that Portland Trail Blazers All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge wants to see improvement made around him on the roster and is interested in a trade if the moves aren't made.

Does Aldridge want out of Portland? Yes and no, a source close to the 6-10 forward informed If Portland doesn't have plans to drastically improve its roster in time for the 2013-14 NBA season, Aldridge would prefer to be moved, and his first choice would be Chicago, the source said.


The source also said Aldridge wouldn't mind being dealt to the Dallas Mavericks to play in his hometown with the rising belief Dallas has a shot at Dwight Howard. Or to the Los Angeles Clippers, if a scenario such as that makes sense for the Clippers.

However, if Portland doesn't make the necessary adjustments Aldridge sees fit, he will come back to Portland and fulfill his contractual obligation and he won't be a problem, the source said.

"LaMarcus loves Portland," said the source. "He spent seven years there and grew as a man. Him going back is a possibility and he knows that. He's a professional, it wouldn't be an issue."

Jason Quick of The Oregonian reported Wednesday that Aldridge "wants out" of Portland and believes the city is "too small" and "too boring." Blazers GM Neil Olshey was quoted as saying that he wasn't making outgoing trade calls about Aldridge but that he would listen if the phone rang.

A report from Illinois on Wednesday suggested that Aldridge wanted to "escape" Portland and play for the Chicago Bulls.

Multiple reports indicated that the Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers had trade discussions surrounding Aldridge.

A Blazers spokesperson told Blazersedge on Wednesday that Olshey -- who has been in his annual media blackout for pre-draft preparations -- was "unavailable for comment" regarding Aldridge trade rumors and reports.

Chad Ford of reported Wednesday that there is a "solid chance" Aldridge is traded this summer.

Earlier this week, Aldridge's name was put out there as a possible candidate for a draft week trade.

Back in May, there was some chatter that Aldridge might be traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers for the No. 1 pick.

Also 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 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, 27, is under contract through the 2014-15 season.

-- Ben Golliver | | Twitter