The Trail Blazers entered the offseason not knowing whether they'd be able to work out contract extensions with Brandon Roy or LaMarcus Aldridge, the two pillars of a team on the rise. Now, they've got both off them done -- or close to it.
Two months after Roy agreed to a five-year extension that will keep him off the restricted free-agent market next summer, Aldridge and the Blazers are "close" to finalizing a five-year extension, an NBA front office source said. The 2006 draft picks had until Oct. 31 to sign extensions or they would become restricted free agents next summer. Thus far, only Roy, Aldridge, and Andrea Bargnani of the Raptors have done so, leaving some drama for the Celtics and Rajon Rondo, the Bulls and Tyrus Thomas, and the Grizzlies and Rudy Gay as the regular season opens next week.
Aldridge's deal is reportedly for less than the maximum allowed under the current collective bargaining agreement -- about $65 million to $68 million before incentives, according to Yahoo! Sports, which first reported the extension. Reached by the Oregonian, Aldridge said the contract was "very close. It should be done soon." One NBA front office source speculated that Aldridge's agent, Arn Tellem, likely would push for a player option or other out clause in the contract in exchange for accepting less than the max of about $80 million over five years.