Amid an MVP-level performance from LaMarcus Aldridge last night, Blazers owner Paul Allen said the team would wait until after the season to consider an extension for the power forward, who recently expressed a willingness to sign an extension with the club. Allen spoke to media at halftime of last night’s victory over the Nuggets, a game in which Aldridge went for a career-high 44 points and was the only Blazer to score in the final 9:18. Ben Golliver of Blazer’s Edge provides a transcript of Allen’s remarks.
“I talked to [GM] Neil [Olshey] about those things,” Allen said, in reference to an extension for Aldridge. “As you guys know, at the appropriate time we’ll consider all those options. That’s usually when it’s time to look at an extension — after the season is over.”
That’s similar to Olshey’s comment from earlier this month that extension negotiations would not be a “conversation that’s going to play out in the media in January,” a remark he made to Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune. Allen nonetheless praised Aldridge’s performance this season and cited his improved leadership skills.
It’s somewhat surprising to see the Blazers put the brakes on extension chatter, given Aldridge’s seeming discontent with Portland in the past, but it’s no shock. They could only add two years to his contract if they signed him to an extension between now and June 30th. Portland can tack three years onto Aldridge’s deal with any extension signed after July 1st. It may also be wise to see if Aldridge can sustain his career-best level of play over an entire season. The Arn Tellem client is under contract until the summer of 2015.
Allen also dispelled the notion that the Blazers would make a major move before the trade deadline to solidify their status as a contender. Rumors linked Portland to Omer Asik when the Rockets were aggressively shopping the center last month.
“I think we’re looking more at internal development, what changes we can make or tweaks we can make,” the owner said. “I don’t think we’re looking at any blockbuster trades or anything like that. Although we always listen.”