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Report: Portland Trail Blazers Seeking Joakim Noah in Return for LaMarcus Aldridge; Chicago Bulls Refuse

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | According to a report by K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Bulls have made it clear that All-Star center Joakim Noah will not be included in any trade talks with the Portland Trail Blazers for All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge.

Johnson's article goes as far as to say that any Noah for Aldridge talk is a "non-starter" for the Bulls.

It's easy to see why Portland would be targeting Noah, as his rugged game and his intensity would likely make him an immediate fan favorite in the Rose City. Noah, 28, was selected to the 2013 NBA All-Defensive First Team and would fill a huge hole at center for the Blazers.

However, with Noah off the table, the package that is rumored to be offered is Luol Deng or Carlos Boozer plus Jimmy Butler and the rights to the Charlotte Bobcats first round draft pick that is owned by Chicago.

The Aldridge trade picture remains murky, as conflicting reports out of Portland have him either loving the city but only willing to stay if the team is a contender, or hating the city and wanting out immediately.

Although there has been no official word from the Blazers or from Aldridge himself, multiple reports paint a similar picture: Aldridge, 27, wants to play for a contender and prefers to play in a major market. Chicago, the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Clippers have all been mentioned as possible destinations.

If Portland -- who could have $10M or more in cap space to play with -- is able to make a big splash during the NBA free agency period -- which opens July 1 -- they could become a contender very quickly, and convince their All-Star forward to stay.

Stay tuned, it promises to be interesting offseason for the Portland Trail Blazers.

Sunny Ahluwalia is a freelance writer based in the Pacific Northwest. His thoughts on the Trail Blazers can be found on portlandroundballsociety.com and on Twitter @Sunny_PRS

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