Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports was interviewed by John Canzano of 750 AM The Game (KXTG) on Thursday, and the topic of trade rumors surrounding Portland Trail Blazers All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge came up. Audio of the interview is available right here.
Here's how Wojnarowski sees Aldridge's situation with training camp fast approaching.
"I think [Aldridge] is going to be in Portland in the foreseeable future. I don't know what leverage he has right now. He's got two years left on his deal. A lot can change in two years in the NBA, a lot can change in one year. Listen, at the end of these two years, maybe as a free agent, he decides to leave, maybe Portland moves him at the trade deadline before he leaves, before he can leave.
"But I don't see them... I just don't think Neil Olshey will trade him for pennies on the dollar. If there's a star attraction, if there's a guy they can bring back, a guy to build around, of course they'll do it, but I don't know if LaMarcus Aldridge is commanding that kind of value out on the market right now. Certainly there are teams who want him, but what are they willing to give up?
"I think he's going to be in Portland, certainly the team is going to be much improved this year. I think they have a chance to compete for the playoffs and, by the way, he's got to play at a very high level for them to do that. I think he can want to be somewhere else but he can increase his value by playing really well for them this year. I think that will quiet down because Portland has not shopped him or put him out there, and I don't think they're going to do that."
Aldridge's name has been in trade rumors throughout the summer.
He told Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports in August that he was "extremely frustrated" by Portland's 2012-13 season but that he hasn't asked for a trade.
Blazers' [LaMarcus Aldridge] tells Yahoo Sports he was extremely frustrated with last season but not to the point where he asked for a trade.
"I wasnt ready to make a move yet. I was just frustrated in the moment. I haven't given Neil (Olshey) a chance yet," [Aldridge] told Yahoo.
He told Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com in August that he doesn't want to be traded.
CSNNW.com reported that if moves weren't made to your liking, you would prefer to be moved. Was that accurate?
"Yeah, but I don't have to worry about that because we've added some good pieces this summer and I'm looking forward to working with them."
Prior to those interviews, Haynes previously reported that Aldridge's representatives met with Blazers GM Neil Olshey in Las Vegas to discuss trade possibilities.
Olshey told Blazersedge in July that his discussions with Aldridge would remain private, but that Aldridge was "pleased" with Portland's 2013 offseason. Olshey said in August that Aldridge is "happy" and "excited" and that he sees the team's plan.
Blazers coach Terry Stotts told Blazersedge in July 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 Chicago Bulls and Dallas Mavericks were listed as his desired destinations.
Jason Quick of The Oregonian reported before the Draft in June that Aldridge "wants out" of Portland and believes the city is "too small" and "too boring." 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.
Back 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 Blazers GM Neil 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, 28, is under contract through the 2014-15 season. He averaged 21.1 points and a career-high 9.1 rebounds last season.
-- Ben Golliver | email@example.com | Twitter