Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge will reportedly not re-sign with the team for the 2015–16 season, according to ESPN.com.
"He's gone," a source told ESPN. "There's a 99.9 percent chance that he's out of Portland."
Aldridge was reportedly made aware of the trade in advance of it happening. A Yahoo Sports report said the move was not "a first step in rebuilding."
But ESPN's report Thursday indicated the Batum trade was an indication "of Portland's growing belief that Aldridge is poised to leave in free agency."
Portland rode Aldridge's 23 points per game to a 51-31 record during the 2014–15 season. The Trail Blazers earned the Western Conference's four-seed in the NBA playoffs, but lost its first-round series to the Memphis Grizzlies 4-1.
The four-time All-Star will enter his 10th NBA season this fall.
While Aldridge reserves the right to re-sign with the team after he becomes a free agent on July 1, sources told ESPN Portland is "increasingly fearful they have little chance of retaining the All-Star big man once he hits the open market."
- Will Green