NBA Rumors: CJ McCollum Could Form Celtics' 'Big Three' With Jayson Tatum & Jaylen Brown Next Season

Basketball
Gettyimages | Steph Chambers

JB Baruelo

After suffering an early exit in the 2021 NBA Playoffs, the Boston Celtics are determined to build a more competitive roster this summer. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown may have blossomed into All-Stars this year, but the Celtics obviously need another superstar to their roster in order to have a realistic chance of fully dominating the Eastern Conference and winning the NBA championship title.

In the past months, the Celtics have already been linked to several superstars who are expected to be on the trading block this summer.

Celtics Could Create Own Superteam

Gettyimages | Steph Chambers

One of the most interesting trade targets for the Celtics is veteran shooting guard CJ McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers. In a recent article, Skyler Carlin of NBA Analysis Network included the McCollum-to-Celtics deal on his list of trades to create the league's next superteam.

McCollum is yet to demand a trade from Portland but with the team currently stuck in mediocrity, multiple signs are pointing out that the Trail Blazers would finally consider breaking their explosive backcourt duo this summer. With Damian Lillard considered as the face of the franchise, they are more likely to use McCollum as a trade chip to improve their roster in the 2021 offseason.

Marcus Smart As Centerpiece Of CJ McCollum-to-Celtics Trade

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With Tatum and Brown expected to be untouchables, Carlin suggested that the Celtics could use Marcus Smart as the centerpiece of the trade package that they would offer to the Trail Blazers in exchange for McCollum. The Trail Blazers would definitely be intrigued by the idea of adding Smart to their roster.

Smart could serve as Lillard's new backcourt partner in Portland. Though he's not a prolific scorer like McCollum, Smart would bring the much-needed improvement with their performance on the defensive end of the floor.

To further convince the Trail Blazers to make the deal, the Celtics would also have to include some of their young players and multiple first-rounders in their offer.

CJ McCollum Forms 'Big Three' With Jayson Tatum & Jaylen Brown

Gettyimages | Steph Chambers

McCollum would be an incredible addition to the Celtics. With his ability to excel in an off-ball capacity, he would be an ideal fit alongside Tatum and Brown, enabling the Celtics to create their own "Big Three" next season. He would also give the Celtics a player who could step up and lead their offensive when Tatum and Brown need to rest or suffer an injury.

"Whenever Tatum or Brown need a breather, McCollum is capable of handling the ball and creating for others as well," Carlin wrote. "He could provide what the Celtics thought Kemba Walker was going to be able to bring for the duration of his contract."

CJ McCollum Boosts Celtics' Offense

While Smart's potential arrival in Portland is expected to address their defensive woes, the acquisition of McCollum would help the Celtics improve their offensive efficiency that ranks No. 11 in the league, scoring 111.0 points per 100 possessions, per ESPN. He would give them a very reliable third-scoring option behind Tatum and Brown, a decent playmaker, and an elite three-point shooter.

This season, the 29-year-old shooting guard averaged 23.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 4.7 assists while shooting 45.8 percent from the field and 40.2 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN. McCollum would still need time to familiarize himself with the Celtics' system but if he meshes well with Tatum, Brown, and Al Horford, Boston would undeniably become a tougher team to face in a best-of-seven series.

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