Damian Lillard said there was no way to prevent LaMarcus Aldridge from bolting the Trail Blazers for the Spurs, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports reports. Lillard told Spears that Aldridge wanted a change and was seeking a franchise that was closer to winning a championship. Lillard added that Aldridge had no issues with him. “We basically exchanged texts about how much admiration we have for each other,” Lillard told Spears. “That change wasn’t about me. I did express that I wanted him to be back. I told him I respected his decision. I respected that he told me before the news broke and I saw it on TV.”
In other news around the Northwest Division:
- The Trail Blazers and Nuggets are among the teams interested in signing Robbie Hummel, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities tweets. The Kings and Cavaliers are also in the mix, Wolfson adds, but the two Northwest teams are the ones with the greater interest. Hummel became an unrestricted free agent when the Timberwolves pulled their $1.147MM qualifying offer.
- Kevin Garnett has a full no-trade clause in his new contract, thanks to his service time during his first stint with the Timberwolves, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter links). Players can only get full no-trades in a new contract, not extensions, and must have at least eight years service time and four with the same team, Stein adds in a separate tweet. Garnett agreed to a two-year, $16.5MM deal.
- The Timberwolves should receive a trade exception for all of Chase Budinger‘s $5MM salary, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. Minnesota agreed to deal Budinger to the Pacers on Saturday.
- The Nuggets didn’t waive Randy Foye by the end of Saturday, so his non-guaranteed salary of $3.135MM is now fully guaranteed (hat tip to former Nets executive Bobby Marks; Twitter link).