Portland Trail Blazers star LaMarcus Aldridge is set to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and while most people believe Aldridge will re-sign in Portland, Jason Quick of The Oregonian reports that some Blazers players are worried about their star teammate leaving in free agency. One player even went as far as saying there’s only a 50-50 chance Aldridge comes back to Portland.
Aldridge declined a three-year extension last summer, saying he’d rather sign a five-year deal with the team when the time comes. However, a Blazers player said the size of contract isn’t a huge deal to Aldridge, and that being closer to his family in Texas could be a factor in his free-agent decision.
Aldridge just had one of the best seasons of his career, averaging a career-high 23.4 points on 46.6 percent shooting while battling through multiple injuries. The big man also grabbed 10.2 rebounds per game, marking the second straight season he averaged a double-double.
Aldridge had 32 points and 14 rebounds in Game 1 of the Blazers’ first-round series against the Memphis Grizzlies, but he shot just 13-of-34 from the field and Portland was trounced, 100-86. The Blazers have been battered by injuries this season, and it’s going to take a whale of an effort to overcome these injuries and the Grizzlies in the first round.
If Portland goes on to lose to Memphis, would that affect his pending decision? Aldridge is in a good spot with the Blazers considering he plays with a great young player in Damian Lillard and has a solid coach in Terry Stotts. But perhaps the 29-year-old wants to look elsewhere. We’ll see.