Rumors and speculations continue to swirl around Portland Trail Blazers superstar C.J. McCollum who is expected to be available on the trade market in the upcoming offseason. Should the Philadelphia 76ers be interested in adding McCollum to their team?
On The Bill Simmons Podcast on Monday, The Ringer’s Bill Simmons and ESPN’s Zach Lowe discussed numerous scenarios that could happen this summer, including the future of C.J. McCollum in Portland. After the Trail Blazers suffer an early elimination in the Western Conference Playoffs, there is a growing belief that the team will consider a roster overhaul. Simmons and Lowe agreed that McCollum won’t be with the Trail Blazers next season.
Both NBA analysts suggested several trade ideas involving the 26-year-old shooting guard, and according to Simmons, the deal that “makes the most sense” is the trade that will send C.J. McCollum to the Sixers (h/t Miles Custis of SB Nation’s Blazer’s Edge).
“The trade that makes the most sense is McCollum to Philly, and unfortunately, they don’t need Markelle Fultz back in that trade since they have Dame Lillard, and that has to become a three-teamer at that point, and that’s where it becomes complicated. Now, you could argue they just take Fultz back, but the trade fits Saric and Fultz or Fultz and the 10th pick. I don’t think Fultz for McCollum straight up is a fair trade.”
After years of tanking, the Sixers, led by rookie Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, have finally returned to the Eastern Conference Playoffs. However, in order to be considered as a legitimate title contender next season, the Sixers need to add an experienced superstar, in which C.J. McCollum could be an ideal target. McCollum is currently in his prime, and in 81 games he played last season, he averaged 21.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 3.4 assists while shooting 44.3 percent from the field and 39.7 percent from beyond the arc.
The potential acquisition of McCollum will ease the departure of J.J. Redick, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent in July. As Simmons noted, the Sixers will need to sacrifice Markelle Fultz and the No. 10 pick in the deal involving McCollum. With the presence of Damian Lillard in Portland, they should also consider finding a third team that could help them facilitate the trade.
Being buried deep in luxury tax hell, it will not be a surprise if the Trail Blazers really make McCollum available on the trading block this summer. Expect more rumors to circulate as the 2018 offseason draws near.