Portland Trail Blazers star forward LaMarcus Aldridge is singing a vastly different tune this season. Last year, he was miserable as the team missed the Playoffs, and he pushed management to either get him help, or trade him away.
Now, he’s leading one of the NBA’s best squads, and with a year remaining on his deal (paying him $16 million next season), the 28-year old Aldridge is prepared to start discussing a long-term contract extension. Per the Portland Tribune:
Aldridge expressed his thoughts to general manager Neil Olshey, who had decided he wanted to build a foundation around Aldridge and Rookie of the Year point guard Damian Lillard.
“Neil and I talked all summer,” Aldridge says now. “I was unhappy with what happened last season. He said, ‘I know you want to win now. We’re not going to rebuild. We’re going to bring in some guys to win now.’ We went back and forth. He said, ‘Let me bring in some guys to help you.’ And that’s what happened.”
“This team is good,” he says. “We can get better. This summer, we can reassess what we have and add things we need. If not this year, in the next couple of years, this team can win a championship.”
For the first time, Aldridge is thinking he’d like to sit down with Olshey and negotiate a contract extension.
“I would like to re-sign here,” he says. “If they want to talk about it, I would talk about it. They haven’t yet, but I’m looking forward to the chance to do that.”