After fighting from down 0-2 to win the series against Dallas, much credit has to be given to the Clippers for their perseverance with their backs against the wall.
But considering the talent on the roster, and the expectations hoisted on the team early on, hanging on to edge out a Game 7 victory in Round 1 shouldn't be considered a "mission accomplished" for the Clips.
As they enter Round 2, to face the inexperienced Utah Jazz, many questions remain about the makeup of the roster and how far the team can actually go as presently constructed.
If they fail to advance to the Conference Finals for the second straight year, it could prompt some major changes by the front office -- with one such change possibly even including Paul George.
A Western Conference executive floated the idea of the Clippers trading Paul George this summer if the team failed to meet expectations. Hence, a possible McCollum to the Clippers package. And if Miami can’t lure a Lillard deal, McCollum could be an option there, too.
It's hard to imagine the Clippers trading George for CJ outright, but if the blazers decide to include a guy like Jusuf Nurkic, it could be enough to generate some real traction.
The Clippers need a big man, and there aren't many on the market who are better than Nurk, a unique, multi-faceted big man who is one of the best passers and playmakers at his position.
Obviously, for Portland, they would lose some major pieces in CJ and Nurkic, but the addition of George would finally give Dame the second option he's been waiting for his entire career.
It would also give Portland an elite wing defender, strengthening one of the team's biggest weaknesses.
In the end, there are clear advantages for both sides, but it just depends on what happens this postseason, and if the Clippers can meet expectations with their current core.