The explosive backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum is once again expected to wreak havoc in the 2019-20 NBA season and carry the Portland Trail Blazers to the Western Conference Playoffs for the seventh consecutive year. However, without any major upgrades on their roster, it remains a big question if the Lillard-McCollum tandem will be enough to bring the Larry O’Brien Trophy to Portland.
If the Trail Blazers are serious about dominating the Western Conference and winning the 2020 NBA championship, they should strongly consider adding another All-Star-caliber talent to their roster before the 2020 February trade deadline. According to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, one of the potential trade targets for the Trail Blazers is LaMarcus Aldridge of the San Antonio Spurs.
“The Blazers might be a scoring big man away from championship contention. Lillard has blossomed into an MVP candidate since Aldridge’s 2015 exit. CJ McCollum is on the short list of the best active players to not make an All-Star Game. Portland has depth to support its stars, high-upside youth to potentially elevate the outlook and a couple of massive expiring contracts (Hassan Whiteside, Kent Bazemore) to make the money work. The Blazers can stand pat and be really good this season. Swinging for the fences with an Aldridge reunion gives them a shot at greatness.”
LaMarcus Aldridge may not be on the level of LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Kevin Durant, but Trail Blazers fans would definitely love to have him in Portland. The Trail Blazers were the team that selected Aldridge as the No. 2 overall pick in 2006 and helped him blossom into an All-Star. Despite his controversial departure in 2015, Aldridge isn’t closing the door on the possibility of playing for the Trail Blazers again.
As a matter of fact, LaMarcus Aldridge said in an interview with Jason Quick of The Athletic earlier this year that he and Damian Lillard had already mended fences. Aldridge told Lillard that he would be returning to Portland to finish his NBA career there. Aldridge may already be in his mid-30s, but he would be an incredible addition to the Trail Blazers, giving them a very reliable scoring option next to Lillard and C.J. McCollum.
As Buckley noted, the Trail Blazers have enough trade assets to engage in a deal with the Spurs, including the expiring contracts of Hassan Whiteside and Kent Bazemore. However, as of now, it remains unknown if the Spurs have any plan of making LaMarcus Aldridge available on the trading block before the 2020 February trade deadline. Despite being a mediocre team in the league, the Spurs still refused to trade their veterans and undergo a full-scale rebuild.