Make no mistake about it, LaMarcus Aldridge wants to finish his career where it all started, in Portland.
He stated this week that he has told Damian Lillard that he wants to come back to the Trail Blazers. Though he probably shouldn’t have said something like this, as the Spurs go into the playoffs already as underdogs, Trail Blazer fans can’t help but be excited. Though this can’t happen until Aldridge’s contract runs up in 2021, you can’t help but think if he does make the move back, this could potentially be the move that sends the Trail Blazers to the NBA Finals.
The key here would be to keep Jusuf Nurkic and CJ McCollum long term, as their timing and chemistry with Damian Lillard (a Portland “lifer”) is impeccable. The new additions such as Rodney Hood (the tertiary scorer that the Trail Blazers have needed since LaMarcus left the team), and Enes Kanter might need to be retained as well, as having a deep bench is crucial to a championship level team. Once this happens, veteran free agents will flock to fill up roster spots, just as contending teams do.
Though it’s looking far into the future, the fact that Lillard and Aldridge have already tried to pull off Aldridge’s return on more than one occasion, makes me think that this reunion will happen sooner rather than later as clearly Aldridge has one foot out the of door in San Antonio. With the Warriors dynasty getting closer and closer to ending due to dissension with Kevin Durant, the Western Conference could potentially be wide open a year from now, and if Aldridge comes back to Portland, there’s no reason to think that the Trail Blazers can’t win it all.
Then, Aldridge will finally make his official promise true in becoming one the greatest Blazers ever, giving a title to Portland, eventually getting his jersey retired, and maybe even a statue. You may think that’s crazy, but if LaMarcus gets Portland their first title since 1977, then you better believe that Aldridge and Lillard will both have statues right outside of the Moda Center.
Think long term LaMarcus…
Make a “LeBron returns to Cleveland” type of homecoming and become the hero again.
Think long term…
It will change your legacy for the better.
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