Northwest Rumors: Aldridge, Lillard, Hayward

LaMarcus Aldridge spoke to Jim Rome of CBS Sports Radio this week about the trade rumors that surrounded him this summer, chalking it up to passing frustration, as Ben Golliver of Blazer’s Edge notes in his transcript of the most notable passages.

“It was just me being overly emotional at the time,” Aldridge said. “Nobody wants to lose. I’m in my prime right now. At the time, I was a little emotional about not winning or what not. After I had time to talk to (Blazers GM) Neil (Olshey) and the team, I knew they were going to make some moves, bring some guys in.”

Aldridge is eligible to sign an extension, and when Rome asked whether he’d sign one, Aldridge said he’ll deal with the matter in the offseason. His decision will be a key story next summer, and as we await that, there’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • Damian Lillard, the Blazers‘ other linchpin, doesn’t seem at all reticent about his willingness to commit to the team long-term, judging by his comments to Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune. “I love it here,” Lillard said. “Hopefully this is where I’ll always be. I’m not saying that just to be politically correct. I really hope so. My family likes it here. Hopefully it will be a career-long thing for me.”
  • Gordon Hayward discusses this year’s steep increase in his on-court responsibilities with USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt. Hayward professes his love for the team and calls himself a “Jazz guy” in response to a question about his upcoming restricted free agency.
  • Brian Shaw had been passed over multiple times for head coaching jobs, but before landing his Denver gig this summer he was confident he’d wind up with the Nuggets, Nets or Clippers, tweets Sean Deveney of The Sporting News.

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