After two consecutive years of being swept in the first round, the Portland Trail Blazers managed to exceed the expectations from them in the 2018-19 NBA season by reaching the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2000. With their recent achievements, most people don’t expect the names of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum to surface in trade discussions in the 2019 NBA offseason.
Keeping the explosive backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum will ensure that the Trail Blazers will remain as a legitimate playoff contender in the deep Western Conference for years to come. However, according to Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report, the Trail Blazers may consider trading one of Lillard or McCollum if they will be receiving a better superstar that could give them a higher chance of winning an NBA championship title.
One of the deals that may convince the Trail Blazers to sacrifice Damian Lillard or C.J. McCollum is the trade that would bring New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis to Portland. In a proposed trade deal by Bleacher Report, the Trail Blazers will be trading a package including McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic, and the No. 25 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft to the Pelicans in exchange for Davis. For the deal to work under the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, the Pelicans need to add more players to match the Trail Blazers’ outgoing salary.
“Portland has no reason to break up its tremendous backcourt duo, especially after it reached the Western Conference Finals this season. Unless there’s a chance to pair up draft classmates Damian Lillard (No. 6 overall in 2012) and Anthony Davis (No. 1 overall in 2012), that is. As much as the Blazers love McCollum, the 27-year-old has yet to make an All-Star team but should be in line for a max contract in 2021. Nurkic is coming off a career year (15.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.4 blocks), but even his presence likely wouldn’t have been enough to get the Blazers past the Golden State Warriors.”
Anthony Davis not expected to change trade stance after meeting with Pelicans' David Griffin, per reporthttps://t.co/Vnx8gPI50k— CBS Sports NBA (@CBSSportsNBA) May 29, 2019
Trading C.J. McCollum will undeniably break the hearts of lots of Trail Blazers’ fans, but it is something that they should consider if it means acquiring a player of Anthony Davis’ caliber. Davis will boost the Trail Blazers’ performance on both ends of the floor and give them an All-Star caliber center who can knock down shots from beyond the arc. This season, the 26-year-old center/power forward averaged 25.9 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 2.4 blocks, and 1.3 steals on 51.7 percent shooting from the field and 33.1 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
Meanwhile, the deal also makes a lot of sense for the Pelicans, especially if they decide to remain competitive in the post-Anthony Davis era. The core of Jrue Holiday, C.J. McCollum, Zion Williamson, and Jusuf Nurkic would make the Pelicans a team to watch out for in the 2019-20 NBA season.