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Aldridge Holding Off Signing Extension with Portland

The Portland Trail Blazers enjoyed a strong season in 2013-14 reaching the playoffs. However, the franchise wants to build off that season to return to be one of the NBA powers and contend each season for the Western Conference and NBA Titles.

LaMarcus Aldridge was the biggest reason the Trail Blazers returned to prominence during this past season. The power forward averaged 23.2 points and 11.1 rebounds per games.

The All-Star power forward told Portland earlier this offseason that he would not sign a contract extension during this offseason. However, he said his plan is to sign one following the end of the 2014-15 season.

He said his plan it to become the best all-time Trail Blazer while saying he would be able to catch Clyde “the Glide” Drexler.

Aldridge says he is happy to remain in Portland, happy to play for Portland and happy with what direction the team is headed.

Not signing an extension does not have any impact on his interest in staying to play with the Trail Blazers, says Aldridge. He says he simply wants a deal of five years and that is the best decision for him.

Aldridge this season will be in his fifth and last year of a contract for $65 million. At the end of the 2014-15 season, Aldridge will be a free agent. Portland had hoped to convince Aldridge to remain in Portland with a five-year maximum $108 million extension that they offered the All-Star in June.

The decision not to sign the extension now said Aldridge was what he refers to as a business decision.

Aldridge made it clear he did not want to be perceived as being unhappy or not interested in staying because he was not signing a deal for three years. He said financially it was smarter to hold off and sign a new five-year deal when the opportunity arrives.

The Blazers were 54-28 in the regular season and reached the semifinals of the Western Conference before being eliminated by the eventual winners of the NBA Finals, the San Antonio Spurs.

Last summer there was discussion that Aldridge was thinking about entertaining other offers, but as the season came to an end, he said on several occasions he was content playing in Portland.

On Tuesday in an interview, he spoke about his desire to be the best player for the team and the go-to scorer for the Trail Blazers.

He believes that if he remains a Blazer for the rest of his career he could catch Drexler, who is a member of the Hall of Fame.

Over the past few years, the Trail Blazers have created NBA Draft night drama with surprise moves but this season they were quiet due to not having any picks. They had hoped to create headlines by signing Aldridge to an extension.

Neil Olshey the Portland general manager said what was important was that everyone, including Aldridge knows he is the top priority right now in the Trail Blazers organization.

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