Anonymous 2014 All-Stars Tell LaMarcus Aldridge They Want to Play for Blazers

Dan Favale@@danfavaleFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2014

PORTLAND, OR - JANUARY 28:  LaMarcus Aldridge #12 and Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers talk against the Memphis Grizzlies on January 28, 2014 at the Moda Center Arena in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
Sam Forencich/Getty Images

Thanks to LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard, the Portland Trail Blazers are now a team of choice for NBA superstars looking to switch locales.

That's what Aldridge leads us to believe anyway, having apparently spent All-Star Weekend listening to various players express a desire to partner with Lillard and himself.

"Definitely a few guys have told me that this weekend," Aldridge told CSNNW's Chris Haynes of players informing him they want to play in Portland.

First, this means Carmelo Anthony is a bald-faced liar. Per the New York Post's Fred Kerber, Anthony said All-Star Weekend isn't used for recruiting.

"As far as recruiting and things like that, that never happens."


Now that Anthony's treacherous duplicity is out of the way (chill, it's a joke), we can react appropriately to Aldridge's leaked intelligence with an obligatory, "Oh, snap."

It wasn't long ago Haynes himself was bringing word that Aldridge's camp was meeting with Blazers general manager Neil Olshey in hopes of brokering a trade. Aldridge never once banqueted those rumors, but there were so many different reports floating around, some foundation of truth to his displeasure had to exist.

That was then, this is now. And now, the Blazers are winning. Not as much as they were before, but they're still battling the Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets for third place in the Western Conference. They're also within two games of the second-place San Antonio Spurs.

Life is good in Portland overall. Winning, as Lillard himself points out, remedies everything.

"I think winning and the type of people that we are will attract people," Lillard told Haynes. "In that way, I guess we are recruiting but I haven’t actively done so."

Which stars want to play in Portland?
Which stars want to play in Portland?Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Assuming this is all true, Lillard and Aldridge aren't guilty of tampering—unless allowing the Blazers' record to speak for itself is considered tampering. The dyad is merely soaking in all the interest current All-Stars have in relocating to Portland, where the Blazers are making mincemeat of their once mediocre ceiling.

This, of course, begs the question: Who are these anonymous All-Stars?

Is 2015-free-agent-to-be Kevin Love seduced by the prospect of returning to Oregon, where he attended high school, Los Angeles roots be damned? Was Roy Hibbert mad Indiana Pacers and Eastern Conference All-Star coach Frank Vogel played him under 13 minutes Sunday night, prompting him to consider leaving in 2015?

Or is Joe Johnson hoping the Brooklyn Nets can move his immovable contract so that he can gold brick his way to an eighth All-Star appearance out West?

Whoever the All-Stars in question were, Aldridge and Lillard have already taken the next step in ensuring Portland remains a hotbed for player interest: affixing a sense of we-can-keep-your-identity-a-secret version of trust to the Blazers' winning ways.