LaMarcus Aldridge Trade Rumors: Blazers Reportedly Interested in Reunion with PF

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 22, 2017

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MAY 20:  LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs handles the ball against Stephen Curry #30 and Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors in the first half during Game Three of the 2017 NBA Western Conference Finals at AT&T Center on May 20, 2017 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Portland Trail Blazers are reportedly interested in trading for San Antonio Spurs power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, according to Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News:

"A league source told the Express-News that Portland Trail Blazers would execute a trade for Aldridge to reunite him with star Damian Lillard. Aldridge, who played nine seasons in Portland, left the Blazers in 2015 to sign with the Spurs. The Blazers haven't closed the door completely on a possible return. The team would be willing to complete a trade for Aldridge for matching salary only, according to a league source."

However, Jason Quick of CSNNW said his source indicated there is "no way" Aldridge goes back to Portland. 

Young reported that the Spurs were shopping Aldridge on the trade market. On Thursday, Ramona Shelburne and Michael C. Wright of ESPN.com also reported the Spurs were seeking to trade Aldridge, looking to acquire a top-10 pick in Thursday night's NBA draft.

Sam Amick of USA Today noted Aldridge is unhappy in San Antonio, which is driving the trade push by the Spurs. 

Marc Stein of ESPN.com, meanwhile, linked the Phoenix Suns to Aldridge: 

And Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report added that the Spurs were hoping to acquire a top-four pick to select Kansas forward Josh Jackson, noting that the Suns—who hold the No. 4 overall pick—"went hard" after Aldridge when he was an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2015.

Aldridge, 31, instead signed with the Spurs, averaging 17.6 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game in two seasons with the team. He disappointed in the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors, however, scoring 28 points in Game 1 but averaging just 11.3 points in the final three games of the series. 

And he was generally ineffective throughout the postseason, averaging "a career-low 16.5 points per game in the playoffs along with career lows in player efficiency rating (15.2) and blocks (1.0)," according to Shelburne and Wright. 

"LaMarcus has got to score for us," Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said after Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals, per Shelburne and Wright. "He can't be timid. He turned down shots in the first half. He can't do it. You've got to score. Scoring has got to come from someplace. I think he's got a major responsibility in Game 3 to come out and get something done."

That decline in production may not be the only factor potentially hampering Aldridge's trade value, as Stein noted: 

The Spurs offseason could be a transformational one, with the team reportedly interested in signing either Chris Paul or Derrick Rose, per Shelburne, and shopping Danny Green on the trade market to clear the cap space needed to sign a player like Paul, according to Young.

Trading Aldridge would be another move in an effort to rebuild around superstar forward Kawhi Leonard as the Spurs recalibrate in an effort to catch the Warriors in the West.

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