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LaMarcus Aldridge Linked Strongly with Los Angeles Lakers

ESPN reporter says L.A. is moving up the star forward's list.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

In the wake of the Portland Trail Blazers trading Nicolas Batum, ESPN's Marc Stein tweets that LaMarcus Aldridge is "likely" leaving Portland and that the Los Angeles Lakers are moving up his list of possible destinations.

In contrast, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports earlier tweeted that Batum's departure was not connected with Aldridge's free agent decision.

Update: Stein has now penned a full article on the subject. It includes the following:

The Portland Trail Blazers traded forward Nicolas Batum on Wednesday amid a growing belief within the organization that LaMarcus Aldridge is poised to leave them in free agency, according to league sources.

Sources told the Blazers have been pressing for more concrete signals from Aldridge's camp about his plans before the July 1 start of free agency and are ‎increasingly fearful they have little chance of retaining the All-Star big man once he hits the open market.