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Stein: Potential Blazers Backcourt Breakup Something to ‘Monitor’

New York Times writer Marc Stein mentions Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum in his weekly newsletter.

Portland Trail Blazers v Phoenix Suns Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Trail Blazers’ early exit from the 2018 NBA Playoffs has once again created uncertainty around the current backcourt pairing of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Marc Stein of The New York Times became the latest pundit to comment on the matter.

When discussing how Knicks fans shouldn’t get too excited about potentially landing Kevin Durant in the summer of 2019, Stein suggested that Portland’s backcourt is more worthy of monitoring.

Two situations to monitor more closely in terms of potential big-name defections: Will Boston ultimately feel the need to trade Irving before he can become a free agent next summer? And will Portland persist with the starry but stagnant backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum — or trade one of them to aggressively remake the roster?

Lillard and McCollum combined for 48.3 points per game in the 2017-18 regular season. The Blazers amassed a 49-33 record last year, but haven’t won a playoff game since the 2015-16 postseason.

Dave Deckard here at Blazer’s Edge recently tackled the subject of Lillard’s happiness in Portland and long he will be a Blazer. You can read it here.

You can subscribe to Marc Stein’s weekly newsletter by visiting The New York Times.