The Portland Trail Blazers and New Orleans Pelicans have done business before, brokering a trade for C.J. McCollum just over a year ago.
But how ironic would it be if the Pelicans traded McCollum back to the Blazers for his backcourt buddy Dame? The Athletic’s John Hollinger doesn’t think it’s a horrible idea.
It would be ironic to trade McCollum and Nance back to Portland since that’s almost certainly what this would entail to create a salary match. There is a case to be made for kicking the tires on this, even though it’s not Lillard’s first choice. He’s signed for four more years, so his leverage is fairly limited. And the Pels can create a winning package with their future picks and young players; there is no question they can outbid the rest of the market.
The Blazers have proven that they will not simply surrender Lillard to the Miami Heat because that’s where he wants to go. They will get the best offer they can for him, and the Blazers could find that in the Pelicans, should they be the team that bids the highest for him.
On top of Nance and McCollum, the Pelicans have young players like Dyson Daniels, Kira Lewis Jr. and Jordan Hawkins, but it would likely have to take a player like Zion Williamson or even Brandon Ingram to truly get the Blazers excited.
If the Pelicans were willing to part ways with either of them to get this deal running, the Blazers may have to at least consider the idea.