Rumors of LaMarcus Aldridge‘s satisfaction with the Blazers have gone from pegging the MVP candidate as disgruntled, to appeased, to content in recent years, with speculation about his willingness to stay with Portland long-term settling down as the team has surprisingly stayed near the top the Western Conference standings this season. Now Aldridge is going on the record as wanting an extension, telling Kerry Eggers of The Portland Tribune that he’s ready to sit down with GM Neil Olshey and begin negotiating a new contract:
“I would like to re-sign here,” Aldridge says. “If they want to talk about it, I would talk about it. They haven’t yet, but I’m looking forward to the chance to do that.”
The two-time All-Star is scoring (23.6 PPG) and rebounding (11 RPG) at a career-best rate, and is likely to make his third straight appearance this year. It seems like a no-doubter that the Blazers, who have desperately constructed their roster to meet Aldridge’s desire to be on a competitive team, would extend the 28-year-old to a max deal, although Olshey says the “appropriate” time for those negotiations hasn’t arrived yet. Olshey wouldn’t reveal to Eggers when that time would be, saying, “It’s not a conversation that’s going to play out in the media in January.”
Aside from the Blazers’ success in the win-loss column this year, Aldridge cites a growing level of trust with coach Terry Stotts, the support of Portland fans, and the unselfishness of his teammates as reasons he wants to stick around with the team that acquired him on 2006’s draft night, when the Bulls made him the second-overall pick and dealt him to the Blazers for Tyrus Thomas and Viktor Khryapa.