Western Rumors: Clippers, Aldridge, Gay

Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com examine the chances that the Clippers could wind up with LeBron James this summer, calling them “perhaps the most serious competitor” the Heat will face for the four-time MVP. The Clippers aren’t set to have cap space, but Miami had to pull off some last-minute moves to open up room for their free agent haul in 2010, and a source close to James tells the ESPN.com scribes that James will consider teams without cap room. It would require the Heat to cooperate, and league executives believe they’d ask for Blake Griffin as part of a sign-and-trade, according to Windhorst and Shelburne. While we wait to see if that scenario plays out, here’s more from the West:

  • LaMarcus Aldridge says he’ll make “winning and happiness and making sure my worth is valued” his priorities in his next contract negotiations, and tells Ken Berger of CBSSports.com that he wants to wait until summer to talk about an extension. That’s the same timetable Blazers owner Paul Allen said he’ll take shortly after Aldridge revealed he’d be open to an extension.
  • Rudy Gay tells Marc Stein of ESPN.com that he isn’t leaning one way or another about whether to exercise his player option this summer, but he says he appreciates the on-court freedom the Kings have given him since December’s trade.
  • The Suns have assigned Archie Goodwin to the D-League, the team announced. The rookie performed well on his first trip to the Bakersfield Jam late last month, averaging 29.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in a pair of games.
  • Andre Roberson is back from yesterday’s assignment to the D-League, the Thunder announced. The power forward put up 20 points and 11 rebounds Tuesday for the Tulsa 66ers.
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