Bill Simmons, full-time columnist/part-time antagonist for ESPN has Portland's two All-Stars in the top fifteen players, ranked by trade value, in the NBA.
Lillard came in at 15, one spot ahead of Kyle Lowry with the explanation that Lillard is a "World-class biggest shot-of-the-game guy", is younger, and is apparently an excellent rapper. Though he followed it by saying he would rather have Lowry in a seven game series right now, with an added quip of:
LINK COMING FOR THE 678-POST THREAD ON BLAZERS EDGE CALLING ME A JACKASS AND URGING ME TO SEXUALLY ASSAULT MYSELF FOR PICKING LOWRY OVER LILLARD IN A SEVEN-GAME SERIES — STAY TUNED.
His negatives on Lillard were his poor three-point shooting this season and his defensive play.
Aldridge finished one spot ahead, in the "Mega Free Agent" section alongside Marc Gasol. What followed was expected to frightening to Trail Blazers fans: an explanation for how the Spurs will convince both Wesley Matthews and Aldridge to leave Portland for San Antonio next season.
And look — I don’t see Aldridge leaving Portland, either. But let’s say the Blazers get beaten in Round 1 fairly convincingly, to the point that we say to ourselves, "Hmmmmm, that nucleus just doesn’t look close to a title."
And let’s say Duncan and Ginobili retire, but Popovich sticks around knowing the Spurs have only $34 million committed to 2015-16 salaries … with a chance to sign two max free agents AND keep Kawhi.
And let’s say Aldridge grew up in Dallas (true), went to college at the University of Texas (true) and spends his summers in Texas (true).
And let’s say Wes Matthews was born in San Antonio (true).
While their is a certain brand of logic to this, there is no concrete evidence to back up the idea of Matthews and Aldridge leaving at all, let alone together for the Spurs. Simmons compares it to leaving your husband in a room with a highly desirable female celebrity. Again, a certain brand of logic.
Previously in this column series by Simmons, he placed Matthews 39th.
This is just one columnist's opinion, and should be taken with a grain of salt. That said, would any Blazer fan trade either Lillard or Aldridge for Klay Thompson (Number 11) or John Wall (Number 12)? Or any of the players in the Top 10, which has yet to be revealed but can be deduced by process of elimination?
Hat tip to GMan83201 for posting this in the Fanshots.