Trail Blazers

CJ McCollum breaks his silence on trade speculation: ‘I’m not offended’

Trail Blazers

CJ McCollum has played alongside Damian Lillard for the past eight seasons.

But while the two make up one of the NBA’s best backcourts, the Trail Blazers haven’t gotten the results they had hoped for in the postseason. Portland has the longest active streak in the league when it comes to playoff trips; however, the Blazers haven’t made it past the Western Conference Finals, which occurred in 2019.

Portland has exited in the first round four times in the last five years.

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As the Blazers look for new direction this offseason in hiring a new coach, many believe a roster shakeup is inevitable. Should Portland explore a trade involving McCollum?

On Tuesday night, David MacKay of USA Today discussed why the chatter of a possible trade involving McCollum is nothing new. He explained that there are few players on Portland’s roster that would yield a reasonable return.

 

McCollum broke his silence after coming across the post. 

“I’m not offended brotha,” he said. “I came from nothin. To more than something. I work hard, show up and do my job to the best of my ability. Everyone has a right to their own opinion. Even if that means they want to see me traded. It’s a part of life when you play this sport. Blessings.”

Even if the Blazers did want to trade their second-best player, The Athletic’s John Hollinger pointed out, it wouldn’t come with ease. McCollum has three years left and $100 million remaining on his deal in Portland which is viewed as “slightly negative value,” Hollinger said.

McCollum finished the Trail Blazers season averaging 23.1 points per game but looked like a surefire All-Star before fracturing his foot earlier in the year. Prior to getting hurt, he was averaging 26.7 points per game in his first 13 games.

While there’s no telling if McCollum could be traded in the future, President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey confirmed at least four starters would be returning. 

"We've got 80 percent of our starting lineup under contract and returning absolutely," Olshey said Monday.

But he added, "Nothing is ever off the table if it advances us closer to a championship."