CJ McCollum bluntly reacts to suggestion Blazers should play for a high draft pick
The Portland Trail Blazers are far from competing for anything in the NBA given the way their team’s been set up recently. They’re struggling to compete in the West as both Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are not enough to stop the team from losing anymore.
However, gunning for a high pick is something that should never be said to the faces of the team’s stars. They’re always aiming for the NBA title, no matter how ridiculous it seems.
Jason Quick of The Athletic described how McCollum shrugged off suggestions that they should play for next season instead of this year.
After Thursday’s loss, when CJ McCollum was asked if it would be better for the Blazers to play for a high draft pick than chase one of the last playoff spots, the guard scoffed and turned away.
“You crazy,” McCollum said with a disgusted chuckle as he collected the final items from his locker and left. “You have a good one.”
Even bringing up the lottery is blasphemy to McCollum and Damian Lillard, players who have led Portland’s charge to six consecutive playoff appearances while forming a culture that is rooted in extra work, belief in the system, and trusting one another on the court and in the locker room.
McCollum is averaging 21 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists on 45% shooting, while Lillard is getting 26 points, 4 rebounds, and 8 assists. They may not be playing up to par compared to the rest of the league, but they’re always looking to win.
They may not have the numbers nor the record to show that they can compete, but they have the mindset that is lacking on a good number of NBA teams. They believe that they can win, and that resilience is something many players in the league can respect.