Originally written June 26, 2013 on BlackSportsOnline:
  According to a report by Ben Golliver of SB Nation via Mike Mcgraw of the Daily Herald, Portland Trailblazers power forward LaMarcus Aldrige, wants to be traded to the Chicago Bulls, where he would have an opportunity to contend. Word is, Aldridge wants to escape from Portland’s rebuilding project and has made it known that he’d like to land in Chicago. Deng for Aldridge won’t get it done. The Blazers want Joakim Noah in return and the Bulls don’t want to give up the superior defensive big man. Here’s one way to get Portland’s attention: Offer Deng and Charlotte’s future No. 1 pick. The Bulls are counting on that Bobcats’ pick (acquired for Thomas, ironically), to pay off big, because it’s unprotected in 2016. Aldridge, whose name has been bandied about in various trade rumors leading up to the NBA Draft, said in April exit interviews that he thinks it’ll be roughly two years before the current Blazers team is ready to contend. Where this team is headed: “This year was a down year. I think it was better than what people thought it would be, it ended bad. I think if we add one or two pieces this summer and we have one OK season, I feel like that following season we should be good, really good.” … Timeline for improvement: ”I think just getting into the playoffs isn’t good. I’ve done that. I think one year of maybe, barely getting in or not getting in, and that next year we should be able to really be serious about it.” Blazers general manager Neil Olshey, said that he has assured Aldridge that the team would be aggressive in their pursuit to improve the roster. I don’t think you can speculate today because I don’t know what free agency is going to bring, I don’t know what the draft is going to bring, I don’t know what trades are going to bring. But I know we’re going to do everything we can to build the roster. To sit here and put an artificial expectation on what a roster may or may not be when you only have eight returning players and you haven’t drafted yet or gone into free agency doesn’t make a lot of sense. But I do know from L.A.’s perspective, we talked, and he knows we’re going to be aggressive in building the roster. I’d like to think the improvement from the guys who are already here on top of the guys we’re going to bring in will make us a factor faster rather than later. Unfortunately, the NBA is in the instant gratification era. Seems like every superstar wants to the chance to play on the grandest stage and aren’t afraid to employ tactics of manipulation to get there way. Everyone wants what the Miami Heat have, but aren’t willing to make the sacrifices when they get their wish or just simply can’t find the formula to replicate that kind of chemistry. Aldridge has a talented young core around him that includes the 2013 NBA Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard, he needs to relax and work on raising the level of his game.
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