Portland Trail Blazers v San Antonio Spurs: Game One

Freeman: Aldridge Wants To Stay In Portland, But Will Hold Off On Contract Extension

Joe Freeman of The Oregonian is reporting Trail Blazers power forward and three-time All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge will not sign a three-year contract extension, which was hand-delivered by team owner Paul Allen and general manager Neil Olshey to Aldridge’s agent in Los Angeles, though he has every intention staying with the franchise when he can signed a five-year extension at the end of the 2014-15 season …

It makes too much sense for Aldridge to hold off for the five-year extension for significantly more money, so this should come as a shock to no one. If given the option between three years and $55.5 million or five years and $108 million, which one would you pick?

“I don’t want it to be perceived that I’m not happy or I’m not staying on because I’m not signing a three-year deal,” Aldridge told Freeman. “It’s just financially smarter to wait … and I’m looking forward to signing the five-year deal when the chance comes.”

That last piece about wanting to be the best player in franchise history is something you’ve heard more from Aldridge in the last year. He’s steadily moved up the all-time list in most of the major categories including points (he’s currently third all-time) and rebounds (he’s currently fifth) while winning NBA Player of the Week honors six times, something only Clyde Drexler has done as a Blazer. He’s also just one of four Blazers (Drexler, Bill Walton and Brandon Roy) to be named to more than one All-NBA team. Aldridge even had his place in Trail Blazers history on his mind before one of the biggest games of his career.

“When I walked by (Drexler) I said ‘I’m coming for you’ and I meant in every stat possible,” Aldridge said of an exchange with Drexler, now a broadcaster for the Rockets, prior to putting up a franchise playoff-high 46 points in Game 1 of the first-round of the Western Conference playoffs in Houston . “He said I still have some work to do, but he said I could do it. I was joking with him about trying to break all of his records.”

If Aldridge does end up signing the five-year extension, he could very well end his career having only played for the Trail Blazers, something none of the players above or below him on the all-time franchise lists have done.

“I want to be the best Blazer — ever.” Aldridge told Freeman. “If I stay the rest of my career, I should be able to catch Clyde by then. I should be able to leave a mark on a big-time franchise that is going to be seen forever. And I will be able to say I played here my whole career. This city has embraced me and grown with me. I have so much history, it just makes sense to stay.”