While Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge may not have had an All-Star Game to remember, he and teammate Damian Lillard have left a lasting impression on their fellow All-Stars through their play.
They’ve been so good, in fact, that more than one teammate of Aldridge told him they’d like to join forces with him with the Blazers, according to CSNBayArea.com.
From the always thorough Chris Haynes:
“Definitely a few guys have told me that this weekend,” Aldridge informed CSNNW.com.
Though he didn’t say who, Miami Heat big man Chris Bosh is one player who could be poised for a West Coast move..
The Blazers are in the middle of a franchise turnaround and surrounded with young talent and promise, so it’s not a shock that the best players in the game would want to join such an effort. With the reigning Rookie of the Year in Lillard and the mergence of role players Robin Lopez and Wesley Matthews, the sky is the limit for what this group can achieve.
What’s more telling about how attractive of a destination Portland is to other players is the fact that neither Lillard nor Aldridge actively discussed teaming up with any of their fellow stars. That means that the homegrown approach Portland’s taken to grow organically without the big-name free agency signing should be sustainable as they look to grow and remain relevant in the Western Conference.
“I think winning and the type of people that we are will attract people,” Lillard said. “In that way, I guess we are recruiting but I haven’t actively done so.”
So far, Lillard’s words seem to be proving true. The Blazers rank first in offensive rating with a whopping 112.4 points per 100 possessions. They are also first in the league with 107.9 points per game and own the ninth-fastest pace in the league. Their defense leaves something to be desired, however, as they have a 108.1 mark in defensive rating, good for 23rd.
What it all equates to is that they’re young; but they’re good. and that combination makes playing anywhere at least worth considering for today’s superstars.
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
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