The Portland Trail Blazers are a team that disappointed in the playoffs once again this season. Despite the presence of superstar Damian Lillard on the roster, they were unable to advance to the second round of the playoffs. It is clear that if the team wants to give Damian Lillard a championship-caliber team, there are some changes that need to happen with the roster.
One of the potential routes that the Portland Trail Blazers could go when making changes to the roster is trading CJ McCollum, the team's secondary offensive option. McCollum had a productive season on the offensive end this year, averaging 23.1 PPG and 4.7 APG. While the Trail Blazers are great on offense, there have been concerns about the defensive viability of a Lillard-McCollum backcourt.
Jason Quick of The Athletic has reported that there have been teams calling with potential trades for CJ McCollum. However, it is also mentioned that the Portland Trail Blazers have shot those trades down, as they were centered around exchanging McCollum for selections in the 2021 NBA draft. It seems as though Portland is committed to trying to compete with Damian Lillard, based on their unwillingness to trade for top-tier picks.
Teams are calling the Blazers and asking for CJ McCollum and, in return, offering Portland a chance to get into the top part of the draft. But Portland is not entertaining those offers because it is in a win-now phase and looking for veterans more than rookies to build around.
It seems as though the Portland Trail Blazers are looking at how they can bolster their roster with veterans, rather than focusing on getting young players. Damian Lillard is a superstar who can be a primary offensive option, but he needs a roster that can help him do so. Trading McCollum for rookies would be a bad move, and it's clear that the Trail Blazers realize this. A better option would be to get Damian Lillard some All-Star help, but it is unclear whether there's a viable pathway to do that with a McCollum trade.