Coming into the season, the Portland Trail Blazers playoff odds weren’t the best. But after blowing those expectations out of the water, finishing fifth in the Western Conference and making it to the conference semi-finals, it was proof that this team is here to stay.
At least if they can keep their core together going forward. In his recap on the Blazers season, Marc Stein of ESPN noted that Lamarcus Aldridge isn’t set on a contract extension at the moment which would lead him to unrestricted free agency in 2015.
Thus it’s believed that Portland will have to wait until after Aldridge plays out the final season of his contract at just over $16 million and hits free agency
Averaging 23.2 points on 45 percent shooting and grabbing 11.0 rebounds per game in 2013-14, Aldridge’s value around the league has never been higher. And based on Aldridge not wanting to commit to an extension shows he knows that and wants to cash in on his improvement. By 2015, Aldridge will be 30 years old, but if he keeps up his high-level play it’s safe to say that he will draw max contract offers.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that Aldridge is a lock to return to Portland nor does it mean he’s eying free agency as an escape from the city, but there will be a lot of big market teams with cap space in the summer of 2015, namely the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers who haven’t strayed away from the idea that they plan to make a big splash that summer, he could easily be swayed away from the franchise he’s spent their entire career with.
Regardless of this news, Portland fans should be ready for the future. Between Aldridge, Damian Lillard, Nicolas Batum, Wes Matthews, and Robin Lopez, this team will surely be competitive for years to come But keep this Aldridge news on your tongue.