The debate over whether the Portland Trail Blazers should break up its famed backcourt continued this week with Kevin O’Connor getting realistic about what the team could get for CJ McCollum.
When pressed on whether the Blazers should move McCollum by Chris Vernon on The Ringer’s NBA Show podcast, O’Connor said it made sense but he couldn’t find a deal worth doing.
“I just dont know what the trade is that makes sense. That’s the diference. Does it make sense to trade CJ McCollum? Yeah, I think it does.”
“But for who, I’m not sure what deal is out there that makes a heck of a lot of sense for Portland because there’s just not much out there.”
Vernon then suggested that teams that were unable to trade for Washington Wizard Bradley Beal, should then look to acquire McCollum as their next option.
O’Connor disagreed suggesting that if Portland chose to trade McCollum, it would be seeking different compensation than the Wizards would be for Beal.
“If Washington trades Beal they’re trying to rebuild. If Portland trades McCollum, they’re looking for another quality player, there’s a big difference.”
“Yes, you could get a lot for McCollum if you’re getting draft picks and young players. Portland doesn’t want that. Portland wants to win now and try to contend for a championship around Damian Lillard.”
“It’s hard to find a star-for-star trade or a great player-for-great player trade out there that makes them better, that’s all I’m saying.”
“Bring me a McCollum idea that makes sense and I’d be 100 per cent all on board with trading him.”
He emphasized that Portland was in win-now mode and any McCollum trade needed to make the team better.
“I would not say trade CJ McCollum for young players. They have Damian Lillard on their roster, they have a top 10 player.”
“You got to try and win a championship when you have a top 10-to-15 player on your team.”
“I have previously said they should consider trading McCollum if they can get a significant return.”
McCollum is contracted to the Blazers until the end of the 2023-24 season.
The McCollum trade discussion takes place at the 58-minute mark of the podcast. Listen here.