San Antonio Spurs power forward LaMarcus Aldridge reportedly reached out to former Portland Trail Blazers teammate Damian Lillard regarding a return to Rip City, according to Bleacher Report’s Ken Berger.
Aldridge reached out before Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich addressed the situation with Aldridge.
Per the report, Aldridge asked Lillard to talk with Blazers general manager Neil Olshey about calling San Antonio to discuss a possible trade that would land him back with the Blazers.
“You can never say done because everybody thought that the Aldridge thing was over and that there was no chance to salvage that,” a source said. “Pop went in and smoothed it over. You can’t underestimate the power of the Pop in these situations.”
Popovich said, back in January, that Aldridge requested a trade last offseason, but didn’t say which teams were mentioned in the conversation.
After Popovich addressed the situation with Aldrridge, the forward went on to have his best season in San Antonio, averaging 23.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.2 blocks last season.
Thunder’s Billy Donovan defends Paul George for End of Game Dunk
Oklahoma City Thunder forward, and MVP candidate, Paul George ruffled the feathers of the Portland Trail Blazers for opting to dunk the ball as opposed to dribbling out the clock in their Game 3 victory.
While George made no friends with the Blazers, who visibly took issue with the dunk, Thunder head coach Billy Donovan had no issue with what took place.
“My feeling was they probably shot a shot,” Donovan said, according to Ben Golliver of the Washington Post. “Paul kind of went in and dunked it. Both teams played the game all the way out.”
George declined to comment on the dunk in the post-game presser.
Blazers’ Damian Lillard Talks About Jusuf Nurkic’s Trash-Talking
Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic was the subject of some recent chatter after he engaged in trash-talking with Philadelphia 76ers floor general Ben Simmons, with some of it clipped on video that circulated social media.
Nurkic’s teammate, Damian Lillard, says that the big man is always talking, as it’s a part of his game.
“He always just talks some s**t,” Lillard said with a grin, according to Michael Lee of The Athletic.
“Every day, it’s like most of his comments is slick comments and half the time, he don’t even mean it to be a slick comment. I think it’s just that foreign misunderstanding sometimes. To where he’s just saying something but he talking s**t. I appreciate him being himself. He’s a really honest, emotions-on-his-sleeve type of person and you need those kind of people around. So, maybe it brings that more out of people, like, it’s OK, to say how you feel. And express how you feel.”
Nurkic appears to give the Blazers some intensity, and an edge, on the floor and if Simmmons’ is any example, it’s an example of how Nurkic can get into the heads of opposing players.
Blazers Acquire Rodney Hood
Hood heads over to Portland for a pair of 2nd round picks, one in 2021 and another in 2023, Nik Stauskas, and Wade Baldwin, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
“Rodney is an accomplished NBA player that brings versatility, shot making and depth to our perimeter and will fit seamlessly into our culture and style of play,” Blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey said in an official team statement.
Hood, 26, has poured in 12.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and two assists per game this season for Cleveland.
Hood had to agree to the trade because he signed a one-year, $3.4 million qualifying offer last summer with Cleveland, which granted him veto rights.
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