The explosive backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum is undeniably the major reason behind the Portland Trail Blazers’ recent success. However, in the six full seasons that Lillard and McCollum played together, the Trail Blazers still haven’t won an NBA championship title or even reached the Finals. With the Trail Blazers’ 2019-20 season currently uncertain, rumors have started to circulate around Lillard, McCollum, and their future with the team.
According to Fadeaway World, the Trail Blazers may finally consider breaking up the duo and making McCollum available on the trading block if they suffer another huge disappointment this season.
“Dame and C.J. are extremely fun to watch in Portland, but they have looked a very frustrating pair this season. Dame is playing like a superstar and C.J. can still score with his eyes closed, but they lack defensive resistance and their team can’t have two players with limitations defensively. Of course, these worries will go away if they manage to upset the first seed in the West and make it to the Western Conference Finals again. Especially with Nurkic healthy, this is not impossible, but C.J. will probably be moved if they get bounced in the First Round or fail to make the playoffs.”
If the team feels that they are stuck in mediocrity, trading McCollum might really be what is best for the Trail Blazers. Once McCollum becomes available on the trading block, several teams that are in dire need of additional star power to contend for the NBA championship are expected to do everything they can to acquire him. However, the Trail Blazers aren’t expected to move McCollum in just any type of deal.
If the Trail Blazers are still aiming to remain competitive, they could engage McCollum in a superstar-for-superstar trade to give Lillard his new star running mate. If the Trail Blazers want to rebuild their team while still considering Lillard as the centerpiece, they could demand a trade package that includes a quality veteran, a young and promising talent, and future draft picks in the potential blockbuster deal involving the All-Star shooting guard.
Before talking about breaking up the backcourt duo, the Trail Blazers would first need to focus on the nearing resumption of the 2019-20 NBA season. Though they were out of the playoff race at the time the NBA season went on a hiatus due to the pandemic, the Trail Blazers are among the teams that will be given the opportunity to fight for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference when the league resumes on July 31.