The perfect trade Heat must offer Blazers for CJ McCollum
The 2019-20 NBA season looked like the Miami Heat’s first step back to being serious title contenders. Yes, they were manhandled by the Los Angeles Lakers yet they earned the respect of fans and analysts for their heart. It also showed Pat Riley’s genius in knowing what exactly the team needs to turn it into a contender. However, the 2020-21 NBA season didn’t look promising as expected. Their struggles in the regular season translated into a poor playoff campaign. Now, while fans and analysts are still proud of the Heat, they no longer consider them as serious title contenders.
In the offseason, Riley and the Heat have a chance to show off their mettle and genius once again. Their roster is still oozing with talent. All it needs is a little tweak and maybe the addition of a player like CJ McCollum — the Portland Trail Blazers guard who’s been the subject of trade rumors given his team’s struggles.
Heat get: CJ McCollum
Trail Blazers get: Tyler Herro, Victor Oladipo, Precious Achiuwa
CJ McCollum is the player the Heat needs to cure their offensive struggles. Last season, the Heat had an offensive rating of 110.6 which ranked 18th in the league. In the playoffs, which unfortunately ended in just four games, they had a horrendous 95.4 offensive rating. Outside of the numbers, looking at their roster completes the picture: the Heat really don’t have a potent offensive weapon that could rely on day in and day out.
With McCollum, they will get a player who could consistently drop 20 to 25 points per game. And on a good night, he could even go for 30 to 40 points. In terms of how he gets his points, McCollum is probably one of the most versatile guards out there. He can create his own shots through his smooth hesitation pull-ups. Apart from his reliable shooting stroke from deep and around the perimeter, McCollum also has a great set of lay-ups. This array of offensive weapons forces defenses to collapse on him often. With the Heat, this will give shooting machine Duncan Robinson a ton of wide-open shots. Although McCollum may need to work on his playmaking abilities as this is the underexplored aspect of his game.
Looking at the statistics in the 2020-21 NBA Season would show McCollum’s efficiency on offense. In catch and shoot situations, which comprised 19.1 percent of his shots, McCollum shot a pretty good 49.1 percent. His favorite weapon is the pull-up jumper which comprised 57.8 percent of his shots. Broken down, he shot 47.7 percent from inside the 3-point line and 36.7 percent from beyond the arc. Less than 10 feet from the ring, McCollum shot at a stellar 54.0 percent clip.
The Heat seem to be giving a lot for McCollum, especially given Oladipo’s presence in the trade package. The man is a two-time All-Star and one of the best defenders in the league. However, his injury history has forced his trade value to plummet. Given that Oladipo is an unrestricted free agent this offseason, this transaction would include a sign-and-trade scenario.
Amid fears of Oladipo going down again with an injury, the Trail Blazers would still embrace him with open arms. Oladipo’s defense is his greatest asset — something that the Trail Blazers have been desperately craving for over the last few years. His presence could finally get the Trail Blazers out of the playoff rut.