Aldridge-to-Bulls rumors unlikely

Aldridge-to-Bulls rumors unlikely
June 27, 2013, 5:30 pm
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DEERFIELD, Ill.—Rumors are abounding prior to the 2013 NBA Draft, which is no surprise.

The most prominent surrounds All-Star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge and his reported desire to relocate from Portland to Chicago, completing the circle from 2006, when the Bulls drafted him before swapping his rights for Tyrus Thomas.

It’s been an open secret that Aldridge has grown weary of the repeated rebuilding processes the Trail Blazers have experienced during his time in Portland and while the future looks bright with reigning Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard running the show, the jump-shooting big man wants to capitalize on his prime years.

Besides wanting to play for a contender and in a major market, Aldridge shares an agency with Derrick Rose, Wasserman Media Group, and unlike some other established stars, the mild-mannered Texas native wouldn’t have a problem playing second fiddle to the Bulls’ superstar, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The same source told that Portland indeed would want All-Star center Joakim Noah included in a deal with the Bulls if they were inclined to move Aldridge, but initial discussions between the two teams back in February went nowhere.

The player the Bulls appear most willing to part with, All-Star small forward Luol Deng, not only plays the same position as Blazers starter Nicolas Batum, who received a long-term contract extension last summer, but due to Deng entering the final year of his current deal, there would be no guarantee that he’d re-sign in Portland.

For now at least, it looks like the Bulls will bring back their core nucleus next season and although maneuvers that facilitate deals for other teams are possible—such as trading the 20th pick to Houston for Rockets power forward Thomas Robinson, a top-five pick in 2012 — don’t expect any blockbuster deals Thursday, though in the NBA, especially in a draft like this year’s, nothing can be definitively ruled out until the evening ends.