Is LaMarcus Aldridge A Long-Term Portland Trail Blazer?

LaMarcus AldridgeA lot of banter in Portland has been over whether LaMarcus Aldridge is a long-term number one option for the Trail Blazers. Before the season, there was little to no talk in this direction. But with the emergence of Damian Lillard as a playmaker and leader, people are starting to overlook Aldridge's presence on this team.

I think that I am a little more neutral than a lot of fans and media around the city. It seems that people either love or hate Aldridge. They think he is the best power forward or they think he will never lead Portland to any substantial runs in the playoffs.

Listening to the radio the other day, a sports radio personality said that Lillard is the future and that Aldridge is the past. He said that GM Neil Olshey should trade Aldridge and build around Lillard. To me, that’s ludicrous and a bit of a knee jerk reaction.

Aldridge is this franchise's all-star. Earlier last week, he was one of only 3 players in the league averaging over 20 points and 7 rebounds a game. The other two … Kevin Durant and LeBron James. In my opinion, is if he being mentioned in the same breath as those two guys, he needs to be a fixture in Portland.

I agree that Lillard needs to be a building block for the Blazers but I don't think that means that Aldridge needs to be dumped. I agree that right now is probably when Aldridge has the most value in the trade market.

Not being a general manager in this league, all trade talk is just speculation. I enjoy speculating trades as much as anyone else, but the talk about Aldridge is pretty crazy to me.

As an armchair GM and Blazer fan, I am excited about the fact of building around Aldridge, Lillard and Nicolas Batum. Those three have all the potential and talent to be a solid core in this league. This offseason will make a huge difference on who they put around those three building blocks.

Garrett Thornton is on Twitter. Follow him at @PortlandGarrett

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