The NBA Summer League has become more than a place for young, hopefuls to make a roster. It’s also become a place for general managers and agents to work out contracts, and even talk trades.
The representatives for Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge reportedly approached the club with several trade scenarios this past weekend in Las Vegas. According to a report by Comcast Northwest, Aldridge’s agents met with Portland general manager Neil Oshey and suggested several trades for the seven-year All-Star forward.
No teams or alleged scenarios were mentioned in CSNNW’s report, but the teams for Blake Griffin, Kevin Love and Anthony Davis apparently shot down offers to include their stars.
It was alleged by the Oregonian back in June that Aldridge would eventually request a trade, and while CSNNW’s report says the 28-year-old hasn’t specifically come out and demanded a move, he did say last month that he wanted to see how the Blazers improved during free agency.
In terms of free agents, Portland signed veteran point guard Earl Watson, and forward Dorrell Wright.
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Oshey and his team have been far more active via the draft and the trade market. Portland acquired underachieving forward Thomas Robinson, center Robin Lopez and guard Terrel Harris.
Those moves may have underwhelmed Aldridge, and facilitated his agents to approach Oshey for a trade. Though according to CSNNW an anonymous source said Aldridge could essentially go either way in terms of a trade. He has two years and $30 million left on his contract, so if he is unhappy Aldridge won’t have a long wait.
Since selecting Aldridge with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2006 draft, the Blazers have made the playoffs twice, and haven’t been to the postseason since 2010.
Oshey has one year under his belt in Portland after rebuilding the Los Angeles Clippers, and it’s hard to question his eye for young talent. He scored Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard in last year’s draft when many passed on the electric point guard due to his lack of “serious” competition in college.
Oshey will also have a lot more cap room to work with in 2014. The Blazers are currently on the hook for a $73 million payroll this coming season, the seventh highest in the league just behind the New York Knicks. Portland only has $55 million committed to salaries in 2014.
It seems Oshey just needs more time. A significant amount of cap room and another year of camaraderie for Aldridge and Lillard could be enough to keep a promising young core together, and squash any more trade talk.
Aldridge has made two straight All-Star appearances, and has averaged more than 20 points and eight rebounds in three consecutive seasons.