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Young: LaMarcus Aldridge May Return To Portland

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The Athletic’s Jabari Young makes the case that Aldridge will reunite with Damian Lillard “sooner rather than later”.

New Orleans Pelicans v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

In a phone interview with Rip City Mornings, Jabari Young of The Athletic discussed LaMarcus Aldridge’s status in San Antonio, and the possibility that he and the Spurs might part ways. In a packed Western Conference, the Spurs’ relevance may quickly fade. If so, he sees Aldridge attempting to find a way back to Portland.

Aldridge is on the last fully-guaranteed year of his current deal with the Spurs; he makes $26 million this season, but he only has a $7 million guarantee for 2020-21, with June 29 as the deadline for that decision. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski also reports that he has a 15% trade kicker.

The Blazers, who likely wouldn’t mind acquiring another high-quality big man, have multiple large expiring contracts this coming season that could be used in trade, if San Antonio decides it’s time to change the direction of their team. Hassan Whiteside is making $27.1 million, and Kent Bazemore will earn just over $19 million.

The Blazers brought Whiteside in to help cover for the recovering Jusuf Nurkic. Neil Olshey recently listed February as Nurkic’s possible return date.