LaMarcus Aldridge is trying to stress to fans that he is content in Portland. The forward spent most of this offseason fighting off rumors of trade talks and unhappiness with the organization. While the All-Star admits that he was frustrated with the team following the 2012-13 season, he is denying any idea that he once requested a trade from the organization and is admitting to feeling very excited over the upcoming year.
Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports that Aldridge, at no point during the offseason, requested a trade out of Portland. He was unhappy with the team's direction during last season and he was frustrated by poor play, but a trade never crossed his mind.
"I wasn't ready to make a move yet. I was just frustrated in the moment. I haven't given Neil (Olshey) a chance yet. I did the whole rebuilding thing. I want to win. I told him let's get better this summer. I think Olshey's done that," Aldridge said.
Aldridge shot down the idea that Portland is too small of a city for him, instead saying that the fans were so passionate and the smallness of the city was something that he loved.
"I'm a quiet person that keeps to himself, really. Portland doesn't bother me. I don't have an issue with the city of Portland. I've been there my whole career. I like the smallness of it and the passionate fans," Aldridge said.
One report that was accurate was just how crucial offseason roster moves were for Aldridge's future in Portland. The forward who earned his second-consecutive All-Star appearance in 2012 was not sticking around unless Olshey made moves to upgrade the talent around him.
As a result, Portland signed Mo Williams, Robin Lopez, Dorell Wright, Thomas Robinson and rookies CJ McCollum and Allen Crabbe. The Blazers' bench is now greatly improved off the talent level that was on the team last season. These appear to be enough to hold on to Aldridge until he becomes a free agent in 2015.
Olshey told Blazersedge that the forward was very satisfied with the offseason upgrades and was excited for the 2013 season. The general manager stressed that he and Aldridge have remained in constant conversation during the summer and he never once received the indication that the forward wanted out of the organization.
It is to be determined whether or not all of these moves will pay off in the upcoming season or not. If the Blazers put forward another lackluster season, there are no guarantees that Aldridge would hang around until 2015. Plenty of teams had shown interest in the forward during the summer and would certainly give him another look if available. Aldridge is owed $16 million in the final years of his contract.