Four-time NBA All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge has been a staple in the Portland Trail Blazers organization for the last nine seasons, and he’s arguably one of the top three players in the history of the franchise. Now, it appears as though he’s looking to leave the pacific northwest, where he’s become one of the league’s best all-around power forwards.
Although the chances of Aldridge staying in Portland seem slim right now, nobody is ruling out the possibility that he ends up staying with the team, as they can offer him $27 million more than anyone else can. However, he does have a lot of appealing suitors, including the Toronto Raptors, Phoenix Suns, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, and the team he just recently met with, the Los Angeles Lakers.
ESPN‘s Chris Broussard appeared on Mike and Mike this morning, and reported that the meeting between Aldridge and the Lakers went really well. He was also confused as to why Aldridge is meeting with so many teams, saying that there’s no chance that he goes to Phoenix, Dallas, or Toronto, and that the only teams that have a shot at landing Aldridge should he decide to leave Portland are the Lakers and Spurs.
“Well, [LaMarcus Aldridge] met with the Lakers last night, I’m told it went well — by the Lakers, of course. But, he’s meeting with too many teams. I don’t know why he’s meeting with seven teams. He’s not going to Toronto. He’s not going to Phoenix. It’s going to be the Spurs or the Lakers. Dallas has a slim chance. Or he just refuses to give up that $27 million extra dollars that Portland can pay him and goes back. But not many people see that happening. I think it’s the Spurs or the Lakers.”
ESPN‘s Ramona Shelburne seconded Broussard’s report, saying that the meeting between Aldridge and the Lakers went nearly two hours, and that the Lakers front office said that Aldridge was completely focused on their pitch, and that the meeting went extremely well.
“The Lakers meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge went almost two hours. Source in the room said it went really well. Another person in the room said that Aldridge was ‘really focused.’ Always hard to gauge how a meeting really went, but the Lakers felt better about this meeting than they did with Dwight [Howard] or Carmelo [Anthony].”
There have been reports that Kobe Bryant has been pushing for the Lakers to sign both LaMarcus Aldridge and DeAndre Jordan, which would definitely make the Lakers a playoff team. However, the consensus is that Aldridge will return to his home-state of Texas, and sign with the next team he’s meeting with, the San Antonio Spurs.
Update: LaMarcus Aldridge has ruled out signing with the Los Angeles Lakers because himself and Kobe Bryant “didn’t quite gel.”
[Image via Scott Halleran / Getty Images]