LaMarcus Aldridge thankful for time with Blazers ahead of free agency

Impending free-agent forward LaMarcus Aldridge made his feelings about the Portland Trail Blazers clear Thursday in light of increasing uncertainty about his immediate basketball future.

Though doubt has arisen over the past several months that Aldridge will re-sign with the Blazers after this season -- as he indicated he would last July -- he minced no words in expressing his love for the only NBA team he's played for.

"Of course I love being here, and I'm thankful for everything this city has given me, thankful for my time here," Aldridge told reporters Thursday, according to The Oregonian. "It's been an amazing nine years, and of course I'm not trying to make that end."

The nine-year veteran wants to take time to recuperate from the long season, which was capped by the Blazers' 4-1 defeat in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs by the Memphis Grizzlies.

After that, Aldridge plans to consult with family and agent Arn Tellem to explore his possibilities for free agency.

"We will sit down and figure it out," Aldridge said. "I'm not going to get into the percentages."

The four-time All-Star suggested Portland might have the best chance to sign him.

"I've always loved being here and I've had a great nine years here -- that's always going to have more weight than anything else," Aldridge said.

Once teams have a chance to court him when free agency opens July 1, Aldridge said he won't take long to make his decision.

"I'm definitely not one to prolong things or drag it out,'' Aldridge said.