Portland Trail Blazers star LaMarcus Aldridge is reportedly more of a realistic target for teams in free agency than many people currently think.
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That is the opinion of ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne who was discussing the potential of the star power forward leaving Portland this summer.
It is in contrast to what the player himself has said previously given that the 30-year-old has hinted at the possibility of staying with the Trail Blazers for the rest of his career.
However, things can change in the NBA very quickly and given that he couldn’t agree on a contract extension before the start of this season, he will enter the free agency market this summer potentially ready to assess his options elsewhere too.
“I think LaMarcus Aldridge is actually a lot more in play than people think,” Shelburne said, as reported by Pro Basketball Talk.
She added that the general consensus within the organisation is that point guard Damian Lillard is essentially the face of the franchise, but that shouldn’t bother their veteran power forward who is ultimately happy to be on a competitive team that continues to make noise in the post-season.
It remains to be seen where interest comes from this summer as rumours have suggested that both the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks are going to monitor his situation closely.
The Spurs will potentially be looking to rebuild as both Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili reach the end of their respective careers, and with a lack of a high Draft pick, they may well choose to go big in free agency and bring in a proven talent that can fit in with their culture.
While it isn’t necessarily certain that Aldridge will stay in Portland, given the fact that the franchise can offer him significantly more money on a max deal than their competition and as they continue to compete in the loaded Western Conference, he is more likely to re-sign than leave.