Portland Trail Blazers power forward LaMarcus Aldridge has told management he will depart as a free agent this summer, according to the Columbian's Erik Gunderson. Gunderson cites "A Western Conference executive with knowledge of the Aldridge pursuit" as his source, and the Blazers' Wednesday trade of Nicolas Batum to the Charlotte Hornets as a sign the Blazers see "the writing on the wall" regarding Aldridge's departure.
Aldridge, who averaged 23.4 points and 10.2 rebounds in the 2014-15 campaign for Portland, was reported to have gained interest in the Los Angeles Lakers as a potential free agent destination on Wednesday night. With the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft to sell along with Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle, the Lakers appear to be becoming a more appealing destination in the eyes of potential recruits.
Free agency begins at midnight on the East Coast on July 1st, and by then it will be known who the Lakers selected with their draft picks, or if they used them and/or Clarkson and Randle in a trade to acquire DeMarcus Cousins (although the most recent reports are that the Lakers will not trade Randle), and therefore just what type of teammates Aldridge would be looking at joining.
The offseason craziness has just begun.