Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

McCollum on Damian Lillard: “I can say he’s all-in. He just wants to win.”

Brooklyn Nets v Portland Trail Blazers

PORTLAND, OREGON - MARCH 23: Damian Lillard #0 and CJ McCollum #3 of the Portland Trail Blazers talk during a stoppage in play against the Brooklyn Nets during the fourth quarter at Moda Center on March 23, 2021 in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Getty Images

When Damian Lillard has spoken publicly, he has denied asking for a trade out of Portland.

However, Lillard also has said he isn’t sure what his future will hold and added he wanted to see roster changes in Portland, “We need to be more urgent… we have made the playoffs all these years, we’re a good team, we’re not a bad team, but it’s reached the point where we have to ask ‘have we done enough?’” Unless you consider exchanging Enes Kanter for Cody Zeller “enough,” Portland hasn’t done much this offseason other than bringing in Chauncy Billups as coach.

Lillard is going to give Billups a chance and is “all-in,” CJ McCollum told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on the Woj Pod, hat tip to Aaron Fentress at The Oregonian.

“I don’t want to speak for him, but having a close relationship, him, he and I talk every day, or every other day, from sharing memes to sending videos to each other to serious talks about our season, what it takes to win, what it’s going to takes to win a championship, I have a pretty good sense of where he’s at,” McCollum said. “And I think his goal is to win a championship.

“I think, at the end of the day, that’s what we all want. We want to put ourselves in the best position to win a championship. But I mean, he’s all in. I think at this stage I can say that he’s all in. He just wants to win at the end of the day.”

No doubt Lillard — at age 31 and coming off winning a gold medal in Tokyo while playing through an injury — wants to win a championship, but can he do that with this roster in Portland? No. This is a good team, a playoff team, but no threat to the Lakers/Jazz/Suns and maybe Nuggets (if Jamal Murray can be all the way back by the playoffs) in a seven-game series.

Which is why around the league everyone — particularly certain GMs in Philadelphia and New York — are watching and waiting.

The expectation from sources across the league is that Lillard will give Billups a chance, but that will only last so long. Good luck finding anyone around the league that thinks Lillard is a Trail Blazer a year from now. Maybe at the trade deadline, more likely next offseason, something is going to change.

But right now, today, McCollum says Lillard is all-in in Portland.