Mavs’ 2015 target Aldridge plans to stay in Portland

One of the Dallas Mavericks‘ prime summer of 2015 targets has no plans to test the open market.

All-Star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge told The Oregonian that he intends to stay in Portland, although he will wait until next summer to sign an extension with the Trail Blazers to maximize the length and size of the contract.

“I’m happy to stay, happy to be here, happy with the direction the team has gone the last year or two,” said Aldridge, who could sign a three-year deal worth $55 million this offseason or wait until next summer and get a five-year, $108 million deal. “This has no impact on my interest in staying in Portland. I just want to get a five-year deal. I feel like that’s the best decision on my part.”

The Mavs will have enough cap space to offer a max contract again next summer and have three players in mind, according to sources: Aldridge, Kevin Love and Marc Gasol.

Aldridge’s comments, coming in the aftermath of the Trail Blazers winning 54 games and advancing to the second round of the playoffs, put a major dent in the hopes of the Mavs talking him into a homecoming. Aldridge, 28, who attended Seagoville High just outside Dallas and the University of Texas, made it clear that he’d prefer to spend his entire career in Portland.

“I want to be the best Blazer — ever,” said Aldridge, who averaged career highs of 23.1 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists last season.

A lot can change in a year, but it’s clear Aldridge has no intention to come home to Dallas to succeed Dirk Nowitzki as the face of this franchise. Filling that role in Portland suits him just fine, as will signing a nine-figure deal next summer.

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