The NBA Trade Deadline is winding down, making its waning hours tense for all teams around the league, including the Portland Trail Blazers. A team that could (maybe should) look to duck the luxury tax has options to get under—like dealing Ed Davis or Noah Vonleh for a future pick.
Davis’ future is much in the air given his contract is expiring at the end of the season. But as Davis told Joe Freeman of The Oregonian/OregonLive, if he can make it past the deadline, he’d love to stay in Portland:
”For me, it pretty much started with how the fan base embraced me from Day 1,” Davis said. “Just how much love they show me around the city, the fans, just everything. If I make it past the deadline, this will be the longest stay I’ve ever had. I’m comfortable here, comfortable with the city, comfortable with the front office guys, all the coaches, and obviously comfortable with all the players. This is where I want to be.”
Davis has become a clear fan favorite while holding down the second unit. He’s even been a mentor to Zach Collins. Needless to say, the big man has made his impact on the team, including on its undeniable leader, Damian Lillard:
”He’s super, super important to our team,” Lillard said. “He’s one of those guys that comes into the game, you know he’s going to rebound, you know he’s going to be the backbone of our defense and help. You know he cares about the team. He’s not going out there saying, ‘Oh, I’ve got to have a career year because I’m in a contract year.’ He’s not one of those guys. He’s going to go out there with one goal: do whatever he can to help the team.”
CJ McCollum will be with the team after the deadline, as confirmed by Freeman in a separate piece. Still, he’s trying to block out the noise from around the league:
”When I leave here, I go do other things and try to forget about basketball for a little bit,” McCollum said. “Because it’s mentally draining and consuming to try to think about it all the time. When you’re on social media, it’s undeniably frustrating sometimes. You can’t escape it.”