Laker fans have wanted LaMarcus Aldridge to wear purple and gold for years now – they’ve even bought Lakers jerseys with Aldridge’s name on the back – and it seems there’s a chance their dream could become a reality this summer.
According to Marc Stein from ESPN, the Lakers, along with the New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks, will chase Aldridge this summer during free agency.
Stein also notes that the Blazers, who are currently down 2-0 to the Memphis Grizzlies in the first-round of the playoffs, will “have [their] work cut out to hang onto him” this offseason.
This isn’t the first time we have heard of Aldridge’s possible departure from Portland this summer.
Earlier this month, ESPN Los Angeles’ Ramona Shelburne said that Aldridge will be “actually a lot more in play than people think” during July’s free agency period, according to Lakers Nation:
“You have that group there. How can you really improve that group up in Portland?” Shelburne said. “I think Neil [Olshey] has done a great job up there, but it’s Portland, he’s never quite fit in and they’ve made it really clear that Damian Lillard is the face of their franchise.”
And then there’s a report from just a few days ago by Jason Quick from The Oregonian, who notes that “some Blazers players have already said they are worried free agency will take Aldridge away from Portland this summer.”
“Earlier this month, before a home game,” Quick says, “a Blazers player estimated the chances of him returning to Portland at 50-50.”
So, what does this mean when it comes to the Lakers?
At this point, Aldridge, who will turn 30 in July, is likely looking to play for a contender during the final phase of his career.
As Quick notes in his report, “one Blazers player cautioned that Aldridge already has enough money.”
“Happiness is what he is truly seeking,” Quick writes, “and that could be found in being closer to family in Texas.”
However, as we all know by now, the NBA is way too unpredictable to rule out any kind of scenario.
So, Laker fans can still keep the Aldridge to L.A. dream alive – for now, at least.