Rival executives have taken notice of the Trail Blazers activity prior to the trade deadline. According to HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto, several teams expect the Blazers’ next move to involve veteran guard CJ McCollum.
If the Blazers do test the waters for a potential deal built around McCollum, Scotto explained that the Mavericks and Pelicans have emerged as teams that have rumored interest.
With the emergence of Simons and the selling off of veterans like Powell and Covington, rival executives around the league believe the Trail Blazers will move CJ McCollum by the trade deadline or this offseason as Portland continues to reshape its roster around franchise star Damian Lillard. Several teams, including the New Orleans Pelicans, Dallas Mavericks, and others, are expected to have interest in trading for McCollum, who is owed $69.13 million over the next two seasons.
McCollum, who recently returned to Portland’s rotation, is averaging 20.6 points per game through his his 35 appearances this season.
Beyond the news tied to McCollum, Scotto also revealed that the Clippers received calls from multiple teams in regards to former Robert Covington’s availability. Covington, along with Norman Powell, was traded to the Clippers from the Blazers on Friday.
Following the acquisition of Covington, several teams called the Clippers and inquired about the possibility of Los Angeles flipping the veteran forward in a trade, HoopsHype has learned.
When it comes to the three players that the Blazers received from the Clippers on Friday, Scotto explained that Keon Johnson is viewed as the key building block for the future.
Keon Johnson, who turns 20 in March, is a long-term play the Trail Blazers hope will develop in the years to come.
“He’s a supreme athlete with a good head on his shoulders who’s a hard worker,” one NBA executive told HoopsHype. “He can bring a defensive intensity and ability to cover ground. His offense has a ways to go, but he can handle the ball. Next to a kid like Anfernee Simons, he’ll be good in a speed offense.”
Johnson, who was selected with the No. 21 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, has appeared in 15 games as a rookie.
You can read the complete story from Scotto at HoopsHype.