After what turned out to be a curiously long contract negotiating period, the Portland Trail Blazers have agreed to terms on a contract extension with power forward LaMarcus Aldridge. According to Chad Ford of ESPN.com, the deal is for five years and $65-million, with the potential to get as high as $70-million with incentives.
The Blazers also reach an extension agreement with Brandon Roy earlier this summer, worth $80-million over the same five year period. Aldridge had reportedly sought a similar deal.
In the summer of 2008, Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard told HOOPSWORLD that Blazers' owner Paul Allen "doesn't lose his free agents," implying that the Blazers would keep their drafted players Aldridge and Roy because the organization simply valued their talent too much to lose them for financial reasons.
Aldridge becomes only the third player drafted in 2006 to have reached a contract extension with their team. Roy and Andrea Bargnani of the Toronto Raptors are the others. Extensions can be signed by October 31st, but if deals aren't done, the first rounders drafted in 2006 will become restricted free agents next summer.
Between Aldridge and Roy, the Blazers have strong inside-outside core to build for the future. The team is slowly acquiring talent around their two players, including drafting Jerryd Bayless and Greg Oden and signing Andre Miller as a free agent.
70 Mil for a 2nd fiddle?