The offseason is well underway for the Portland Trail Blazers and a majority of the NBA, leaving many what-ifs about the season or the NBA Playoffs, and creating questions for the NBA Draft or NBA Free Agency to hopefully solve. Portland’s early first-round exit still stings for many, and there’s been lingering questions about the future of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum in the backcourt together.
McCollum is a popular what-if trade piece around NBA circles, and Dan Favale of Bleacher Report recently labeled him as a longer-shot trade candidate at the shooting guard position worth monitoring this offseason:
”It’s been reported that [Neil] Olshey has previously rejected offers for [Damian] Lillard and McCollum,” The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor wrote after the Blazers fell behind 0-3 to the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round. “But that doesn’t mean the phones will stop buzzing. Even before this series, league executives had assumed that Olshey would break up the duo if they failed again. We’ll find out in due time, but the idea should be entertained.”
Maybe the Blazers consider moving McCollum in hopes of deepening the rotation with some spare parts. But he doesn’t engender the same excitement as a Bradley Beal. He’s older (going on 27), makes All-Star money (three years, $82.5 million) and, as a result, is less likely to pique the interest of rebuilding squads with the assets necessary to make Portland’s backcourt dissolution worth the trouble.
It’s unclear how much of a price he might fetch if Portland was to entertain a trade this offseason or next. With the summer signing period approaching soon, trade talks will ramp up around the league, and that could be when teams start to inquire about McCollum.
Others listed in Bleacher Report’s potential tradeable guards include Washington’s Bradley Beal, Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan, and Minnesota’s Andrew Wiggins. You can read Favale’s entire list here.
Editor’s note: Thank you to Blazer’s Edge contributor Kody Tarbell for this write-up.