We haven't even gotten through draft night and already the free agent intrigue is ramping up.
LaMarcus Aldridge is not expected to re-sign with the Portland Trail Blazers, several people close to the All-Star forward told ESPN's Chris Broussard. And Wednesday's trade of forward Nicolas Batum was an indication, league sources told ESPN.com's Marc Stein, of Portland's growing belief that Aldridge is poised to leave in free agency. "He's gone," a source close to Aldridge said. "There's a 99.9 percent chance that he's out of Portland."
On the list of teams Aldridge will consider signing with are the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks, sources said. Aldridge is actually thinking more and more about a free-agent jump to the Lakers, sources told Stein this week.
I'm sure the Celtics would like to be on that list. Perhaps they've got a move or two up their sleeves on draft night that could put them in the mix.
Contrary to the above report, Woj reports that the Batum deal has nothing to do with Aldridge.
Despite the impending free agency of All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland didn't make the trade as a first step in rebuilding, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Aldridge was aware of the deal, sources said. The trade gives Portland greater financial flexibility and an intriuging young talent in Vonleh. Portland clears $3 million in salary-cap space with the trade.
This will be an interesting development to watch.