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Johnson: Joakim Noah's Inclusion In Trade Talks For Blazers F LaMarcus Aldridge Is A "Non-Starter" For Bulls

A Chicago-based reporter provides additional details on possible trade discussions between the Portland Trail Blazers and Chicago Bulls involving All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge.


K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reports some additional details about possible trade discussions between the Portland Trail Blazers and Chicago Bulls involving All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge.

[Aldridge's] agency has suggested Aldridge landing with the Bulls, among others, sources said.

At issue is the Trail Blazers want a center - at least - in return, and the Bulls won't part with Joakim Noah. In this hypothetical, because no terms have been discussed, the Trail Blazers also likely would ask for Jimmy Butler and/or the Bulls' first-round pick from Charlotte, which could be fully unprotected in 2016.

The Trail Blazers are in no rush to trade Aldridge and won't do so unless the right deal presents itself. This is a situation that may remain fluid into this summer and next. But unless the Trail Blazers change their focus and accept either Carlos Boozer or Luol Deng - neither of whom has been discussed - it's a non-starter.

Chris Haynes of reported Thursday that Aldridge "loves Portland" but is interested in a trade if substantial improvements to the roster aren't made. The Bulls and Dallas Mavericks are among his desired destinations.

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 toreturn 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