Teammates Worry LaMarcus Aldridge Will Leave

A Blazers teammate of LaMarcus Aldridge who spoke with The Oregonian’s Jason Quick earlier this month said that he thinks the chances that Aldridge will leave Portland in free agency this summer are just as strong as the chances he’ll re-sign. That’s reflective of the worry that some Blazers have expressed to Quick about the All-Star power forward’s willingness to remain with the team. Still, Quick cautions that Aldridge has grown comfortable in Portland and feels as though the Blazers value him. Aldridge said nearly a year ago that he would re-sign and repeated that before the season.

Aldridge didn’t always sense the Blazers organization was behind him, and he reflected upon that in a recent interview with Michael Lee of The Washington Post, one in which the former No. 2 overall pick wondered if the Blazers would find it easy to move on from him. Quick, who uses the words “fickle,” “moody” and “unpredictable” to describe Aldridge, nonetheless believes the 29-year-old will re-sign. That was the belief of most executives around the league at the All-Star break, even though one executive at that point told Sean Deveney of The Sporting News that the Blazers were “very, very scared” that Aldridge would leave. The exec suggested that it was paranoia of the Blazers’ part, however. Aldridge hasn’t discussed his free agency much since he said again before the season that he would re-sign with the Blazers, though he spoke about his comfort with the Blazers and Portland in December. During the All-Star break, he said that he’d be a fit for the triangle offense and praised Knicks team president Phil Jackson in response to questions from the New York media during the All-Star break.

Portland can give Aldridge a fifth year and 7.5% raises on his next deal, while other teams are limited to four years and 4.5% raises. A teammate of Aldridge’s nonetheless suggested to Quick that money won’t be the primary deciding factor. Aldridge, No. 4 in our latest Hoops Rumors Free Agent Power Rankings, is a native of Seagoville, Texas, which is close to Dallas, and the Mavs reportedly plan to pursue him. There’s been off-hand chatter among executives about the Spurs and Aldridge, as Grantland’s Zach Lowe documented in January.

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