After suffering a disappointing season, rumors and speculations started to swirl that the Portland Trail Blazers will be trading one of their superstars, Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, this offseason. Being buried deep in the luxury tax hell is definitely worth it for a team who is considered a legitimate title contender. However, for the Trail Blazers who failed to win a single game in the Western Conference Playoffs 2018, that is a huge problem.
With Damian Lillard considered as the face of the franchise, it is more likely that the Trail Blazers will consider parting ways with C.J. McCollum. If Portland makes McCollum available on the trade market, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report believes the Cleveland Cavaliers will be an ideal trade partner.
In a proposed trade deal, the Cavaliers will be sending George Hill, Rodney Hood, Kyle Korver, Cedi Osman, and a 2021 first-round pick to the Trail Blazers for C.J. McCollum. The deal will only be possible if the Cavaliers can convince Hood, who is still a restricted free agent, to a sign-and-trade deal. If the suggested trade becomes a reality, it will definitely help both teams in filling up the needs to improve on their roster.
“A package of Hood, Hill, Korver, Osman and a future first lets Portland stay competitive in a tough Western Conference this season while opening up major cap room next summer. The Blazers would go from owing McCollum and Turner $46 million in 2019-20 to getting Hood and Osman for $10 million and could buy out Hill and Korver’s partially guaranteed deals for only $4.4 million. That’s a savings of over $30 million for Portland in a summer where players such as Kevin Durant, Leonard, Klay Thompson and Jimmy Butler, among others, can all hit the market.”
As Swartz noted, the deal will enable the Trail Blazers to remain competitive while saving a huge chunk of their salary cap space that they could use next offseason. The 2019 NBA free agency will be loaded with several NBA superstars like Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson, and DeMarcus Cousins. Succeeding to acquire at least one of those players will undeniably strengthen the Trail Blazers’ chance of competing in the deep Western Conference.
Meanwhile, the Cavaliers will be having another superstar who can help Kevin Love carry the Cavaliers in the post-LeBron James era. The acquisition of C.J. McCollum will give a tremendous boost for the Cavaliers, especially on the offensive end of the floor. The Cavaliers won’t mind paying the luxury tax as long as it can help them rule the Eastern Conference for the next couple of years.