Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders tweets that the planned trip for Damian Lillard to visit free agent LaMarcus Aldridge in Los Angeles to convince him to stay with the Portland Trail Blazers never came off.
Damian Lillard planned to meet LaMarcus Aldridge face-to-face today (as @Sam_Amick said) but they had lengthy phone call instead, per source— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 3, 2015
Update: We've had some questions about whether Lillard could have flown to Los Angeles but not visited Aldridge in person. The wording of the tweet allows for that possibility so we're editing the headlines accordingly.
That said, if Damian flew to L.A. and then couldn't get a face-to-face sit down with Aldridge, the implications there are almost worse.
Update: Jabari J Young closes the loop.
@matthiasellis from my knowledge, flew down, wanted to meet, but instead spoke via phone— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) July 3, 2015
And then, of course, Jason Quick closes it the other way when asked.
@calebteaches no. Phone conversation late last night— Jason Quick (@jwquick) July 3, 2015
Quick just posted an article on the subject. It says Lillard called Aldridge, they both talked a lot, Lillard refused to make a sales pitch...you can read it for yourself. The most salient quotes come at the end:
Lillard did not say whether he thought Aldridge was staying or going.
"I understand he has to make a decision for him,'' Lillard said. "And we have to respect that.''
Update: Adrian Wojnarowski of YahooSports adds this tweet to the general Aldridge conversation, significant mainly because the Blazers are absent. Woj has been pretty much the last media holdout consistently mentioning Portland in Aldridge's free agent plans.
Spurs and Suns have solidified themselves as frontrunners in pursuit of free agent LaMarcus Aldridge, league sources tell Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 3, 2015
And right on cue, here's CBSSports and Ken Berger with the obligatory hope reference.
The Spurs, Suns and Blazers have separated themselves in the chase for LaMarcus Aldridge, two people directly involved tell @CBSSports.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 4, 2015
It's like he looked over at Woj's plate and said, "Hey, you gonna eat that Blazers reference?" More:
One source stopped short of describing other teams (beyond obvious) as eliminated. But Spurs, Suns, Blazers at top of Aldridge's list.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 4, 2015
Update: ESPN's Marc Stein says the meeting between Aldridge and the Spurs today went well.
ESPN sources say pitch LaMarcus Aldridge got from Pop today about playing with Duncan AND taking over when Timmy's gone resonated strongly— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 4, 2015