Thursday Update: Greg Monroe has agreed to sign a maximum contract with the Milwaukee Bucks, according to
Despite the uncertainty surrounding free agent LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers General Manager Neil Olshey has reportedly continued working toward a master plan of convincing Aldridge to return to the Blazers, and then pairing him with fellow max salary candidate Greg Monroe. In fact, this was specifically part of the Blazers' pitch to Monroe. This according to the Oregonian's Jason Quick:
The Trail Blazers' top offseason plan became more clear on the second day of free agency: Sign big men LaMarcus Aldridge and Greg Monroe to maximum contracts.
Neil Olshey, the Blazers' president of basketball operations, headed a Blazers contingent that met with agent David Falk in Washington D.C. early Wednesday to pitch the idea of Monroe playing next to Aldridge.
And Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski says that Portland is still in the hunt to retain LaMarcus:
Everyone wants to count out Portland w/ Aldridge -- don't do it yet. Blazers still make a compelling basketball case, still pay most money— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 1, 2015
Portland sent their top negotiators to meet with Monroe's team earlier today, and the Blazers have been reported as still in the hunt for the former Pistons' forward.
Perhaps bolstering their case is the fact that Olshey reportedly has a good working relationship with Monroe's agent David Falk.
With Portland after Greg Monroe, 3 yrs ago flashback: GM Neil Olshey offered Hibbert max as RFA. Also David Falk client-good relationship— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) July 1, 2015
If the Blazers succeed in signing Aldridge, they will be roughly, $13.9-$14.0 under the cap using the NBA's originally announced estimate of $67.1 million. That number is lower than Monroe's maximum potential salary of $15.8 million, but, as reported yesterday, the final cap will likely be higher than $67.1 million so it may become possible for Portland to sign Monroe for the max. It will be impossible to make an exact calculation until the league closes the books on 2015 and announces the new official numbers later this week.
Update: Damian Lillard is getting into the Aldridge recruitment act, matching San Antonio guard Danny Green earlier this morning.
We've built something great in #RipCity... Would love to continue that playing along side @aldridge_12 ... Sure our team feels the same!— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) July 1, 2015