The Portland Trail Blazers aren’t having the season they hoped for, as they’ve dealt with several injuries to both Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Fortunately for the Blazers, Anfernee Simons has performed much better than expected this season, demonstrating that he has the potential to be a very solid scoring option in this league one day.
For the past two years, there have been rumors that the Blazers are planning to move CJ McCollum. When you think about it, it does make sense since they haven’t had the kind of success they were looking for with him as their second-best player.
Let’s look at four trades that the Portland Trail Blazers may consider for CJ McCollum in order to either help restructure their organization if they want to maintain some of their key players or start a rebuilding process.
While all of these deals may be difficult, some contending teams will overspend and will have to give back a large package owing to the players’ salaries. Not all of these moves are likely, but contending teams will try everything possible to improve, which might lead to some unusual deals, as we have seen in the past.
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Best trades the Blazers must make for CJ McCollum
Blazers get: Tobias Harris, Ben Simmons
Sixers get: CJ McCollum, Robert Covington, Ben McLemore, Jusuf Nurkic, two future first-round draft picks
While this may seem absurd to some, the Sixers will do all in their power to get rid of Ben Simmons either now or in the summer, unless they truly feel they can get James Harden. Other teams have obviously shown little interest, and while they would have to give away both of their second and third best players, it might be something they consider doing given that they would get CJ McCollum back and Robert Covington, who is an elite 3 and D player in this league.
It’s difficult to imagine Philadelphia trading both of these players this season, but it’s possible. They must realize the fact that Joel Embiid is prone to injury and that his prime may not last as long as many believe. This is something that Philadelphia should consider if they want to win an NBA championship this season. Despite the fact that they would not be receiving the same kind of talent that they are giving to Portland, all of these players could be a better fit for the Sixers.
Blazers get: John Collins, Lou Williams
Hawks get: CJ McCollum
There have been new rumors that the Atlanta Hawks are considering trading John Collins. While this may appear to be a risky move on the part of the Hawks front office, the Blazers may gain from it and should seize the opportunity. They might be a team that could get to where they want to be if they could bring back John Collins and make a trade or two to surround Damian Lillard and John Collins with the right components.
The Hawks also need a defender at the guard position, so having CJ McCollum and Trae Young available in the playoffs should thrill their front office.
Knicks get: CJ McCollum, Tony Snell
Blazers get: Taj Gibson, Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel, Obi Toppin, 2023 first-round pick
From the Knicks’ standpoint, this wouldn’t make much sense considering they’re likely to try to trade Obi Toppin for a player they believe is better than CJ, but you never know what the Knicks will do. They have made it apparent over the last several years that they want to return this team to being a championship contender, but they have consistently made the wrong decisions, and the consequences have shown as a result.
While trading Obi Toppin for the Knicks wouldn’t be the best option, they may envision McCollum as the star who could come to Madison Square Garden and start a fire. At this year’s trade deadline, the Knicks will be making plenty of moves because they believe that if they make the right moves, they can become the team that everyone wants them to be.
Mavs get: CJ McCollum
Blazers get: Tim Hardaway Jr, Dwight Powell, 2024 first-round pick
This deal could only make sense for the Blazers if they plan to rebuild and are happy with Tim Hardaway Jr missing the rest of the season. They’d also be returning Dwight Powell, who has the potential to be a very productive player for them, and a first-round draft selection in the future.
If the Blazers aim to retool around Damian Lillard, this might also be an option for the future because Tim Hardaway Jr has shown that he has the potential to be an above-average player in this league. Although he is not the second star the Blazers need to be title contenders, he might be more than enough as a third or fourth option on a championship squad.