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SI: McCollum for Wiggins Trade Should but Won’t Happen

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Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated explains why a McCollum-Wiggins swap makes sense but why the trade won’t happen.

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Portland Trail Blazers Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into last weekend, the Sports Illustrated staff collaborated to share their ideas for NBA trades that make sense but, for various reasons, won’t happen. Ben Golliver sent Paul George to the Cavaliers, Rob Mahoney sent George Hill to the Bucks, Rohan Nadkarni sent DeMarcus Cousins to the Celtics, Andrew Sharp sent Eric Bledsoe to the Spurs, and Jeremy Woo sent CJ McCollum to the Timberwolves—in exchange for former No. 1 draft pick Andrew Wiggins.

Why it should happen: C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard are similar. Andrew Wiggins and Jimmy Butler are similar. Breaking up both pairings would conceivably round out both teams!

Why it won’t happen: Financial difficulties aside (the Blazers are in the tax and Wiggins’ big extension doesn’t kick in until next year), both teams are in position to be patient here.

McCollum trade rumors seem to crop up every year, but as a dynamic low-maintenance, still-improving scorer, Portland shouldn’t be ready to punt. That backcourt poses defensive issues, but the ability to have Lillard or McCollum on the court at all times is still a luxury. Whenever the weight of both contracts saddles the Blazers more than the value of two All-Star caliber guards is when this gets real, and I don’t think we’re there yet—especially not when it would mean eating even more long-term money with Wiggins’s deal.

To read about how McCollum could help the Timberwolves and why Minnesota still wouldn’t pull the trigger, check out the full article, here.

What do you think, Portland? Is there a conceivable timeline where the Trail Blazers do this deal, and would you want them to? What would have to happen for either team to consider this trade? How would the Trail Blazers improve or regress?