Thursday 17th January 2019,
The Hoop Doctors

NBA Execs Expect C.J. McCollum to Be Hot Offseason Trade Target

NBA Execs Expect C.J. McCollum to Be Hot Offseason Trade Target

C.J. McCollum

Although the NBA’s trade deadline is done and gone, the rumor mill isn’t about to stop.

That’s the nature of the Association’s beast. Everyone is always trying to plan two steps ahead if they’re not considered direct competition for the Golden State Warriors. And the latest out of the speculation factory addresses C.J. McCollum’s future with the Portland Trail Blazers. People around the league believe he’ll emerge has a popular offseason trade target, according to Sporting News’ Sean Deveney:

Executives around the league told SN that McCollum will continue to be a target in the offseason, especially if the team struggles to make the playoffs or falls out of the picture altogether.

“They have a lot invested in those two guys [McCollum and Lillard], and if they’re not making progress, they’re going to get a lot of good offers,” one general manager said. “They are excited about [forward] Zach Collins, but they need help at the forward spots long-term. And everyone likes C.J. McCollum.”

 McCollum is indeed a popular choice when talking about moves the Blazers can make. They don’t have many assets on the roster other than him and Damian Lillard, and the latter remains the face for the franchise. McCollum isn’t exactly a bargain with three years and $82.8 million left on his contract after this one, but the 26-year-old can put the ball in the basket from all areas of the court.
The Blazers, as we know, won’t want to trade him. They’ve manufactured a decent-to-above-average defense with him and Lillard in the backcourt, and few offensive pairings in the league boast their detonative upside. But the Blazers figure to be up against the tax next season after re-signing Jusuf Nurkic. They avoided the luxury line this year with that Noah Vonleh trade, yet it won’t be so easy to duck the financial reaper if Nurkic isn’t making a beggar’s dime. And with guys like Evan Turner and Meyers Leonard remaining immovable, sans sweeteners, until the final year of their deals, Portland might be forced to look at a more drastic means of affording a non-contender.

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