Trail Blazers sign LaMarcus Aldridge to contract extension

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed forward LaMarcus Aldridge to a five-year contract extension, it was announced today by General Manager Kevin Pritchard. We’ll post details of the contract tonight or tomorrow.

“It’s a blessing and I’m very thankful,” said Aldridge. “I want to thank Paul Allen, Kevin Pritchard, Larry Miller, Nate McMillan and Tom Penn for giving me the opportunity to be in Portland for many years to come. I also want to thank the Portland fans, my friends and family for all of their support. I’m really happy we got this done and now I’m really excited to get the season started.”

Aldridge, 24, holds career averages of 15.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.11 blocks, 32.0 minutes and a 48.7% mark from the floor in 220 games over three seasons with the Trail Blazers. The forward has started all 157 games in which he has played over the past two seasons.

“This is a great day for the Trail Blazers franchise,” said Pritchard. “LaMarcus is the epitome of what we’re about. He’s a hard-working, committed and unselfish young man who plays the right way.”

The Trail Blazers have improved dramatically since Aldridge joined the team in 2006, going from 21 wins the year prior to his arrival in Portland to 54 wins, a share of the Northwest Division title and a trip to the playoffs in 2008-09.

Aldridge posted a career-high 18.1 points (48.4% FG, 78.1% FT) to go with 7.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.95 steals, 0.95 blocks and 37.1 minutes last season. Among NBA leaders, Aldridge ranked 31st in scoring, 28th in rebounding and 31st in blocked shots. The Dallas, Texas, native led the team in scoring 25 times and rebounding 17 times in 2008-09. His 19 double-doubles marked a team high.

The 6-11, 240-pound Aldridge started all six games for Portland in the 2009 NBA Playoffs, where he averaged 19.5 points (49.0% FG), 7.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.67 blocks in 39.5 minutes per game. He netted 20 points or more in three games and led the Trail Blazers in rebounds three times.

Acquired by the Trail Blazers in a draft day trade on June 28, 2006, Aldridge was originally selected by Chicago with the second overall pick out of the University of Texas in the 2006 NBA Draft.