Lost in all the discussion about the Portland Trail Blazers‘ prospects for the coming season is the fact that the top player remains LaMarcus Aldridge.
At this point, the Blazers should not trade Aldridge but should invest in him for the upcoming NBA season. Damian Lillard might have been rookie of the year last season and several other fine players are coming aboard the team this season, but Aldridge is still still one of the most talented players in the league and is the most dangerous performer who opponents have to face.
The Blazers can’t figure out right now if they should keep him or trade him. As has been mentioned all along, a trade for Aldridge should be with the idea that plenty will come from the other side. Aldridge had 21.1 points, 9. 1 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game in his seventh NBA season. He’s in his prime and has plenty he can give any team.
Trading him might be in the best interests of the Blazers. If they feel a youth movement, headed by Lillard, will be their best bet for contending for an NBA title, then that would be a good idea. But Aldridge should be worth two good players in return, or a good player and one or two first-round draft picks.
At this stage of the offseason, unless other teams are in the market for such a major trade, the Blazers should settle on having Aldridge in their lineup and build around him and Lillard. That’s not a bad nucleus for any team. Both players can still work together and with a fine supporting cast, can help the Blazers contend for a playoff spot. But Aldridge needs the support of the organization and also the knowledge that his talents are well appreciated.