However, a source close to the team said that, while a deal is in the works, one is not yet finalized.

An attempt to confirm the extension with Arn Tellem, Aldridge’s agent, was not successful.

Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard said Wednesday morning he was optimistic an agreement with Aldridge would soon be reached.

“I hope so,” Pritchard said. “But you never say it’s done until the ink gets dry.”

Aldridge, 24, is entering his fourth year with the Blazers. The 6-foot-11, 240-pound forward averaged a career-high 18.1 points in 2008-09, as well as 7.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists. He teamed with Roy to lead the Blazers to 54 wins and an appearance in the first round of the NBA Playoffs last season.

Aldridge said Wednesday morning that he felt certain an agreement with the Blazers would be reached before an Oct. 31 deadline. Following that date, the former University of Texas standout would automatically become a restricted free agent after the 2009-10 season, if he did not sign an extension with Portland.

The Blazers handed Roy a five-year maximum contract extension worth more than $80 million last summer. Since then, the team has attempted to reach a deal with Aldridge.

If Portland is able to successfully negotiate an extension with Aldridge, the team will have locked down the main two players who have shaped and guided the rebirth of the franchise since it bottomed out in 2005-06 with 21 wins.

“Going back three years ago, when we drafted both of those guys, they’ve far exceeded our expectations,” Pritchard said in September. “Not on the basketball court — although they’ve done that. But they have, as kids have turned into adults, they’ve matured with the organization. They’ve completely surpassed my expectations of who they are.”

Aldridge is not the only Blazer, though, who is close to securing a more certain role with the franchise.

Rookie point guard Patty Mills will be the 15th and final player to make Portland’s season-opening 2009-10 roster, a source close to the team confirmed Wednesday. In return, the Blazers plan to waive small forward Ime Udoka and center Jarron Collins.

However, an official announcement by the team is not expected until today, because Mills has not yet passed a physical. According to the source, there is less than a one percent chance Mills will not pass the test.

Portland selected the 6-foot, 185-pound Mills with the 55th pick in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft.

The former St. Mary’s College standout fractured his right foot July 9. He underwent successful surgery July 13, and has been in rehabilitation since then.

Udoka and Collins were at the team’s practice facility Wednesday, and both appeared caught off guard by the news of their impending release.

Udoka averaged 6.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists in five preseason games with the Blazers. The Portland native previously played for the franchise in 2006-07. He was considered a favorite to make the team because of his defensive skills and veteran leadership.

Collins averaged 3.5 points and 2.0 rebounds in four preseason contests with the Blazers.

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