Social media has been abuzz for weeks now with the trade rumors surrounding the Philadelphia 76ers and Ben Simmons, while many have speculated a trade that brings Simmons to Portland for CJ McCollum.
The Trail Blazers starting shooting guard joined the show ‘Jalen and Jacoby’ on ESPN Monday morning with hosts Jalen Rose and David Jacoby to discuss the latest trade rumors and more.
McCollum is coming off a season with the Blazers where he averaged 23.1 points per game after fracturing his foot earlier in the year. Prior to getting injured, he was averaging 26.7 points per game in his first 13 games and looked to earn his first All-Star nod.
There’s plenty of anticipation about the upcoming season with a new coach and coaching staff in Portland.
McCollum mentioned what his conversations have been like so far with new head coach Chauncey Billups in his morning show appearance.
“We’ve been talking about the importance of comradery, obviously chemistry,” McCollum explained. “Dame [Lillard] and I have played together for so long, we understand how to co-exist together, but it’s just more so focusing in on the defensive end.”
Jalen didn’t hold back from asking McCollum about how he’s been dealing with trade rumors this offseason.
“I think the same way I always do, man,” McCollum said with a smile. “I control what I can control – continue to work on my game, continue to take advantage of my summers, try to improve… And show up and do your job.”
The 29-year-old guard also added that he believes the Blazers will be competitive this season with their improved defensive roster and “creativity with fresh faces in Chauncey and a new staff.”
McCollum and the Blazers tip-off training camp on Sept. 28 with the first preseason game slated for Oct. 4 against the Golden State Warriors.