9:48am: Hughes, the Blazers assistant who said the team expected Aldridge to depart, has no knowledge of Portland’s free agent dealings, as The Oregonian’s Jason Quick hears (Twitter link).
8:29am: The Raptors did well in their meeting with Aldridge, but it’s unlikely he picks them, TNT’s David Aldridge tweets.
THURSDAY, 8:22am: Blazers assistant coach Kim Hughes told WTHI-TV of Terre Haute, Indiana, on Tuesday that the team expected Aldridge to leave, as Mike Tokito of The Oregonian transcribes (video link; scroll ahead to 2:05 mark).
“Well, people don’t realize we just went young,” Hughes said. “We didn’t publicize it, but we lost LaMarcus Aldridge. It hasn’t been declared yet, but I’m sure he won’t come back. We will go young.”
5:22pm: The Suns have emerged as contenders along with the Spurs to land Aldridge, Marc Stein of ESPN.com tweets.
3:53pm: The Blazers aren’t to be counted out for Aldridge yet, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link), who indicated in his last tweet that Aldridge was staying in touch with his incumbent team.
3:44pm: San Antonio impressed Aldridge the most, with the Rockets a close second, Wojnarowski hears (Twitter link).
3:36pm: The Lakers are out of the running for Aldridge, who disliked the basketball portion of the team’s presentation, Bresnahan reports (Twitter link). Aldridge was “floored in a good way” by Houston’s analytics and their on-court projections as he met with them, Bresnahan adds in a second tweet. Aldridge didn’t hear the answers he wanted to hear from Bryant during the Lakers meeting, Bresnahan also hears (Twitter link). Moreover, Aldridge wanted more of a basketball focus to the meeting, Wojnarowski tweets.
3:01pm: The Suns’ deal with Tyson Chandler piqued Aldridge’s interest, as USA Today’s Sam Amick hears. Phoenix wouldn’t have the cap space for both, so it would have to clear salary. Marc Stein of ESPN.com suggests that Portland might have interest in a sign-and-trade of Aldridge involving Eric Bledsoe, given that GM Neil Olshey drafted Bledsoe (Twitter links), though the latest report on Bledsoe indicates that the Suns will not deal him.
2:44pm: Aldridge won’t be re-signing with the Blazers, a source close to his situation tells Bleacher Report’s Jared Zwerling, identifying the Spurs, Lakers, Mavs and Rockets as front-runners (Twitter link). Still, the Spurs made a “powerful” presentation to Aldridge today and their status as the favorites remains unchanged, according to what Wojnarowski is hearing (Twitter link).
WEDNESDAY, 12:11pm: The Spurs are the front-runners for LaMarcus Aldridge as they meet today, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, and some executives around the league are starting to think that the All-Star will sign with San Antonio, according to Grantland’s Zach Lowe (Twitter link). The Lakers didn’t make a strong impression on Aldridge in their meeting overnight, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link), though Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com heard that it went “really well,” as we passed along earlier. Kobe Bryant told Ken Berger of CBSSports.com that he also believed the meeting went well, but the Lakers star came away without a firm belief of what the notoriously fickle power forward would do (Twitter link). Aldridge was “engaged” but “noncommittal” in the meeting, as Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times hears (Twitter link).
San Antonio is meeting today with the client of Arn Tellem and Thaddeus Foucher, and the general feeling around the league is that the team’s deal with Danny Green and trade agreement that sends out Tiago Splitter and his salary are positives for the team’s pursuit of Aldridge, according to Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News (on Twitter). The Blazers are apparently unlikely to sign-and-trade Aldridge, so clearing cap room is key.
The Rockets, Suns, Mavericks, Raptors and Knicks are also on Aldridge’s list of meetings, as TNT’s David Aldridge reported. Aldridge’s meeting with Houston has apparently already happened, with the Rockets still seemingly unlikely to reel him in, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link).