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Blazers Players Discuss Looming Trade Deadline

Jason Quick of the Athletic reports that Lillard feels more strongly about maintaining the team’s chemistry than just making moves.

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NBA: Sacramento Kings at Portland Trail Blazers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA’s trade deadline is February 7, about two-and-a-half weeks away, and speculation is heating up around the Portland Trail Blazers. Jason Quick of The Athletic spoke to several members of the team about the position they’re in this season; with a solid 28-19 record but with many fans eager for some roster tinkering.

Of note, are the rumors (or proposed trade ideas by fans and pundits) surrounding Blazers guard CJ McCollum:

“What’s his name … Bill Simmons has been trying to get me traded for like five years,” McCollum said the day Simmons’ website The Ringer posed a McCollum for Aaron Gordon trade. “There’s a proposed trade for me three times a year by him. I admire the fact that he thinks I’m worthy of being traded to … 12 teams.”

Point guard Damian Lillard weighed in on the team’s chemistry and whether or not he’d be willing to sacrifice that in order to take a chance at winning big:

“I’m going to go out there and get to the playoffs and put my best foot forward before I go out there and say (clicks his tongue) ‘Man, you need to go out there and get him instead of him.’ Because that’s not who I am,” Lillard said. “And I don’t care what nobody has to say about it. I’m not going to be the person to say I want to win a ring so bad and all I care about is winning.

“Because at the end of the day, I know in my heart I want to win. I want to win a championship for this city, but I’m not willing to put somebody under the bus to do it. That means more to me than saying ‘I won a championship!’ but now this guy has been traded to a bad situation, and now his team don’t like him as much and he might be out of the league in a year. I’m not going to have that. I’m not going to have that on me.”

Click through to read the entire piece. Quick has further quotes from Lillard and McCollum, as well as Evan Turner.