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Portland Trail Blazers

LaMarcus Aldridge Reached Out To Damian Lillard About Trade To Blazers

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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.

 

Miami Heat

Heat Trade Hassan Whiteside to Blazers

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Hassan Whiteside

The Miami Heat have traded center Hassan Whiteside to the Portland Trail Blazers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Whiteside, 30, will head to Portland while Maurice Harkless and Meyers Leonard will head to Miami as part of the deal.

Whiteside bounced around the league prior to landing in Miami and really elevating his game, earning a four-year, $98.4 million max contract from Miami after the 2015-2016 season.

Whiteside had fallen out of favor with Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra due to a drop in his minutes, so it makes sense that the Heat shipped him out of town.

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Blazers’ Damian Lillard Discusses Game Winning Shot

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In the ultimate last work towards the trash talking Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard hit a ridiculous, buzzer-beating 3-point shot to eliminate the Thunder on Tuesday.

The shot will live on for an eternity and Lillard took time to discuss the dagger that sent the talking Russell Westbrook and his team packing.

“I was blanking out,” Lillard said, according to Jason Quick of The Athletic. “I was having my own thoughts. I was … angry. Not that type of anger like I was mad, but anger like I was in a rage.”

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Blazers’ Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum Discuss How Prior Playoff Eliminations Have Changed Them

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The Portland Trail Blazers are no stranger to quick exits from the NBA Playoffs, but stars Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are using those experiences to help them this postseason.

And so far, it’s working, as they have a commanding 3-1 lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder in their first round Western Conference Playoff series.

“We’re a lot more mature than we were in past years,” McCollum said, according to ESPN’s Royce Young.

“We can handle adversity. We understood what we wanted to accomplish tonight and we didn’t want anything to get in the way. Multiple times we had discussions about not saying anything to anyone. If they don’t have a black-and-gray jersey on, don’t talk to him. Talk to our team. Don’t talk to the refs, don’t talk to the other team. Execute our game plan and let’s get out of here with the win.”

Portland has risen above the trash talk and antics of Oklahoma City to take control of the series.

“We don’t focus on doubters, we focus on ourselves,” Lillard said. “We accept the responsibility of our past two playoff performances and we moved on. I think that’s one of the biggest and one of the best things that we did for ourselves, was not hold on to it. We moved on and we’re having a better run now. We just got to finish it.”

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