Source: Aldridge prefers to be moved to contender; not opposed to returning to Portland

Source: Aldridge prefers to be moved to contender; not opposed to returning to Portland
June 27, 2013, 8:00 am
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The day of the NBA Draft is finally upon us.

It's an important day for many teams and especially for the Portland Trail Blazers, it's a day in which a couple more assets will be brought on board in hopes of those chips inching the Trail Blazers one step closer to becoming a contender in the Western Conference.

Wherever and whoever the Trail Blazers select today, this draft should direct them towards that path.

But in Portland, the draft is being overshadowed by the rumors surrounding two-time All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge and his desire to play elsewhere next season.

Does Aldridge want out of Portland? Yes and no, a source close to the 6-10 forward informed CSNNW.com.

If Portland doesn't have plans to drastically improve its roster in time for the 2013-14 NBA season, Aldridge would prefer to be moved, and his first choice would be Chicago, the source said.

Trail Blazers general manager Neil Olshey and Aldridge's representatives met in Chicago last month during the NBA Pre-Draft Combine to discuss the possibilities of moving the power forward, CSNNW.com learned.

Aldridge has always envisioned what his career might have been like if Chicago, the team that drafted him in 2006, actually kept him instead of trading him to Portland for Tyrus Thomas.

It's no secret to why Aldridge has had some of his best performances at the United Center.

I still have something to prove when I play in Chicago. I just love to play there,” Aldridge told CSNNW.com in March. “Whenever I go back, I want them to know what they are missing out on. To this day, I still take it personal. I hope they know now which power forward they should have held on to.”

The source also said Aldridge wouldn't mind being dealt to the Dallas Mavericks to play in his hometown with the rising belief Dallas has a shot at Dwight Howard. Or to the Los Angeles Clippers, if a scenario such as that makes sense for the Clippers.

However, if Portland doesn't make the necessary adjustments Aldridge sees fit and a trade never happens, he will go back to Portland and fulfill his contractual obligation and wouldn't be a problem, the source said.

"LaMarcus loves Portland," said the source. "He spent seven years there and grew as a man. Him going back is a possibility and he knows that. He's a professional, it wouldn't be an issue."

The truth of the matter is, Aldridge, who is approaching 28, probably has three, maybe four years of prime basketball left in his system and if the choice were primarily up to him, he would prefer to spend those years playing for a contender.

Aldridge has two-years at roughly $30 million remaining on his current deal. Olshey has the luxury of waiting for the right deal to come along. This could take a while, if anything at all.