Portland Trailblazers power forward LaMarcus Aldridge has been included in quite a few trade rumors leading into Thursday night's 2013 NBA Draft, but it sounds as though no move is immediately imminent. That doesn't mean everything is hunky-dory between the All-Star and his city, according to a report from The Oregonian's Jason Quick.
Aldridge hasn't exactly been outspoken with any sort of trade demands to the press. The All-Star did say some things to Quick prior to the last game of the NBA season that make his name surfacing in recent talks -- most prominently to the Cleveland Cavaliers for the No. 1 pick -- that make it seem as though Portland knows what it's doing when they offer their best player to rival teams.
I asked more questions about his past sponsorships and why he suddenly this year decided not to renew any of them. And since our pregame talk, I had received more information, again through a third party: He was trying to put a clause into his lease that if he was traded, he wouldn't have to pay penalties for breaking the lease early.
Aldridge was irritated.
"This is why I hate being in Portland,'' he told me. "You can't do anything.''
This type of thing probably happens quite regularly, but the fact that Aldridge went on record with such a thought probably isn't helping him endear himself to the Portland faithful. That caught the attention of general manager Neil Olshey, too, though the team doesn't seem ready to trade Aldridge for peanuts.
"Well, I'll tell you this: I'm not going to be making any phone calls to move him,'' Olshey said. "But if the phone rings and it makes the team better ...''
It'll be interesting to see if a team decides to call Olshey on Thursday night with an offer he can't refuse.