The Portland Trail Blazers have no qualms sending some of their youngsters and additional assets to the San Antonio Spurs in order to bring back prodigal son LaMarcus Aldridge. Aldridge, who bolted out of Portland two summers ago for a chance to win a championship in San Antonio, hasn’t been the dominant power forward the Spurs had expected from him. The Blazers, on the other hand, are looking for ways to add a third star following the emergence of Damian Lillard and C.J McCollum.

The Report

Jabari Young of San Antonio Express-News reported several weeks ago about the Blazers’ interest in bringing back their All-Star forward in the fold.

According to Young’s source, Portland was interested to engage in a deal with San Antonio for Aldridge who can basically become a free-agent again next summer by not exercising his player’s option ($22.3 M) for a fourth season. However, the Blazers were willing to complete a deal for matching salary only. They wanted to keep their three first round picks of the draft which they used to select Zach Collins and Caleb Swanigan.

Measuring up Blazers’ interest

Young’s report about the Blazers openness to welcome back Aldridge has caught the eye of other NBA Insiders such as Jason Quick of CSNN and Sam Amick of USA Today. Both insiders reported that Portland has not engaged in any talk with the Spurs for Aldridge, with Quick elaborating how unlikely for Aldridge to wear Blazers jersey right now.

Still, the Aldridge to Portland scenario isn’t something out of the realm of possibility. As already mentioned, the Blazers are desperately searching for that third star to make them a legitimate threat in a loaded Western Conference.

Over the last few weeks, the Blazers have tried to swing a deal for Carmelo Anthony, but the Knicks star doesn’t want to go anywhere unless it’s the Houston Rockets.

The Blazers have the third highest payroll in the NBA with $122.5 M on their books. They made efforts to lessen potential luxury tax bills by sending Allen Crabbe to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Andrew Nicholson.

However, the Blazers are paying a great amount of cash for a roster good enough for the no.7 or no.8 spot in the West at its best.

Aldridge trade is certain

Whether Aldridge ends up with the Blazers or not, the Spurs will continue to find takes for their power forward. In two seasons in San Antonio, Aldridge averaged at least 17 points and 8 boards and was barely a factor in the team’s postseason runs. It’s difficult to work out a deal surrounding Aldridge right now, but the Spurs have plenty of time to build up the forward’s stock and make him a most-sought trade target at February’s trade deadline.