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Smith: You Can't Blame Blazers F LaMarcus Aldridge For Wanting Trade

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One national writer argues that you can't blame Portland Trail Blazers All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge for wanting a trade.

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Sekou Smith of NBA.com writes that you can't blame Portland Trail Blazers All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge for wanting a trade.

This marriage seems headed for divorce at some point over the next year and a half. And it's hard to fault Aldridge for seeking a fresh start at this stage of his career. When your contemporaries around the league are joining forces left and right and lining up for championship runs, being in the midst of continuous rebuilding situations in Portland does nothing for an All-Star's title hopes.

There was a time, as recently as three years ago (before all of the injuries, tumult and roster and front office upheaval), when it looked like Aldridge might realize those dreams in Portland. But he's the last man standing from that pre-Olshey era. Now he's looking for a fresh start somewhere he can be a key piece on a playoff team, a contender even, albeit with two years and some $30 million remaining on his current deal.

Thanks to JelaniGNatural in the FanShots.

Aldridge's name has been in trade rumors for weeks now.

Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com reported that Aldridge's representatives reportedly met with Blazers GM Neil Olshey in Las Vegas to discuss trade possibilities.

Olshey told Blazersedge last week that his discussions with Aldridge would remain private, but that Aldridge was "pleased" with Portland's 2013 offseason.

Blazers coach Terry Stotts told Blazersedge last week that he's received no indication of unhappiness from Aldridge this summer.

Earlier this summer, Aldridge told multiple media outlets, including The Oregonian, that he had not gone to management to demand a trade.

"I haven't demanded a trade," Aldridge said in the e-mail.

...

"I'm looking forward to who we sign in free agency to make us better," Aldridge said in the e-mail.

Aldridge also replied "no" to a fan asking on Twitter asking him whether he was leaving the Blazers.

Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune reported that Aldridge told a reporter that he did in fact go to Olshey to request a trade.

Haynes previously reported that Aldridge "loves Portland" but is interested in a trade if substantial improvements to the roster aren't made. The Bulls and Dallas Mavericks were listed as his desired destinations.

Jason Quick of The Oregonian reported 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, and that Aldridge hadn't yet issued a trade demand.

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