With the dawn of the new NBA season comes the return of the seemingly never-ending trade speculation involving Portland Trail Blazers stars Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, in a piece previewing key storylines to keep an eye on throughout the upcoming campaign, openly ponders if this will be the year the Blazers front office pulls the trigger on a deal involving one half of their dynamic duo.
There have always been whispers in league circles that Portland should break up the Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum duo, but there has been no indication it will. Portland is a playoff bubble team, though, and has few other avenues to make noteworthy changes. To make a leap, a breakup could be necessary, and could yield a significant return considering Lillard and McCollum aren’t free agents until 2021. Lillard remains the face of the Blazers, so McCollum should be the player more likely to be moved. But the Blazers would also need to consider which player is more likely to stick around once they both hit free agency in 2021. Portland has more intel about that than anyone else. But we do know that Lillard, on multiple occasions, has made comments that suggest he has a wandering eye.
The play of promising rookie Anfernee Simons could very well impact the Blazers’ decision on this matter, and will also be something to watch during the upcoming season. It remains to be seen if Simons will get any significant run out of the gate, but if he is able to contribute sooner than expected, it could expedite the process.
Would you like to see either Lillard or McCollum moved, and if so, what would you like to see in return? Let us know in the comments!