LaMarcus Aldridge is starting to feel a sense of urgency in Portland, writes Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated. Aldridge is the star of the Blazers in 2013, but he points out that it wasn’t really supposed to be that way. “I was the glue guy when I came in..They definitely didn’t think that I’d be their go-to guy one day,” he said. “I think they felt that I was a fit-in guy, pick-and-pop, that I needed guys to create a shot for me. I was supposed to fit in with Greg Oden and Brandon Roy and Andre Miller.” Here’s more out of the Western Conference..
- The 9-2 Blazers have had a tremendous start to the 2013/14 season, but Zach Lowe of Grantland wonders if they can keep this up. It might make sense for Portland to explore trading for an upgrade. Defensive wizard Omer Asik is unhappy in Houston and would give the Blazers a big upgrade at center over Robin Lopez, but finding a workable trade is tough for a number of reasons. Chief among them is that they don’t really have a sweetener to package with Lopez to pry him away.
- Addressing trade speculation on Evan Turner, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News says there are those in the Mavs organization who “are not big fans of his game.” Sefko adds that Shawn Marion may be more valuable helping Dallas win games and making the situation look attractive to 2014 free agents, rather than as a trade chip.
- Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com (Insider sub. required) runs down trade possibilities for Asik. Aside from Ryan Anderson, whom colleague Marc Stein says is unlikely to be a match, Pelton suggests Ersan Ilyasova, Paul Millsap, Thaddeus Young, and Jeff Green. Pelton adds that Houston could also move Asik primarily for draft picks and give more minutes to Terrence Jones.
Luke Adams contributed to this post.