The time has come. We all knew it would happen someday or another. According to Mike McGraw of the Daily Herald, Aldridge wants to “escape” the Blazers re-building process and play for the Chicago Bulls. In fact, local reporters found out that Aldridge asked for a trade during his exit interview, but was asked by Blazers GM Neil Olshey not to share it to the public.
Now that the information has escaped, we have to move forward. But where? Olshey does not want to trade Aldridge, which makes sense. The Bulls were offering small forward Luol Deng, but Portland isn’t interested. Olshey wants Bulls power forward Joakim Noah.
Earlier today, rumors surfaced regarding the Blazers and the Los Angeles Clippers. Portland seemed to be targeting Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, who in my eyes, isn’t very appealing. Jordan can play solid defense, can rebound, and can provide the occasional highlight-reel dunk, but is an offensive handicap. Last season, he shot a measly 40% from the free-throw line. During the season, he averaged 8.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game. However, during the playoffs, those numbers took hits. In one six-game playoff series, he averaged 3.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game. Nothing too special, in my opinion.
If Olshey wants to keep Aldridge, he has to make some bold moves, showing Aldridge that he is serious about a playoff push in the very near future. Last season, Olshey signed Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert to a contract, but the Pacers matched it. Last summer, Olshey didn’t have a back-up plan. This summer, he has to make a big move, and if he fails, perform a series of minor transactions to beef up the bench and make the team better.
Where do the Blazers go from here? Aldridge has two more years on his contract, putting Olshey in no rush to make a move.
If I were Olshey and my goal was to keep Aldridge happy (which should be on Olshey’s priority list), I would trade up in this draft. Slide up to maybe the 5th or 6th pick in the draft, making a trade with either the Phoenix Suns or New Orleans Pelicans. Use that new pick to draft Indiana shooting guard Victor Oladipo, who can shoot well and play outstanding defense.
What do you guys think Olshey should do? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time,