LaMarcus Aldridge still waiting for long-term deal
Joe Freeman, The Oregonian
LaMarcus Aldridge expressed displeasure and confusion Monday afternoon at the unresolved status of his contract negotiations with the Trail Blazers.
Speaking publicly for the first time since negotiations started in July, Aldridge said at the team’s annual media day that he was stunned the Blazers had not signed him to a long-term contract, particularly considering the prominent role he has played in helping transform the franchise into a Western Conference power.
"I didn’t think it would take this long," Aldridge said. "I thought that after what we did last year, having 54 wins and after the big change that’s happened … here, I just felt like it wouldn’t be this hard to get it done. But it is. I can’t say that I’m happy about it."
The power forward, who averaged career highs of 18.1 points and 7.5 rebounds last season, stopped short of saying he felt slighted or under-appreciated, but did wonder if he had done enough in the eyes of the franchise.
"I wouldn’t go too far," he said, regarding his displeasure. "I would say that I didn’t think it would be this hard. Maybe I didn’t do everything they wanted me to. I felt like I did, but maybe (there’s) more to it from their end."
The Blazers have until Oct. 31 to sign Aldridge to a one- to five-year extension or he will become a restricted free agent after the season. Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard and Aldridge’s agent, Arn Tellem, remain in daily contact as the sides continue to negotiate.