McCollum gives thoughts on potential Damian Lillard trade

CJ McCollum, New Orleans Pelicans. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers. (Photo by Amanda Loman/Getty Images)
CJ McCollum, New Orleans Pelicans. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers. (Photo by Amanda Loman/Getty Images) /

Last week, New Orleans Pelicans star guard CJ McCollum made an appearance on the Ryen Russillo Podcast. And along with discussing the NBA’s one and done rule, McCollum also gave his thoughts on the situation going on between the Portland Trail Blazers and Damian Lillard.

Lillard has spent the entirety of his 11-year NBA career with the Blazers. However, the team is coming off a season where they went 33-49. And while Lillard just got named to an All-NBA third-team, he’s also almost 33 years old and still without any championship hardware.

That last part has led many parties to speculate that Lillard may request a trade from Portland if things don’t turn around there soon so that he can give himself a real chance at chasing that NBA title that has alluded him for so long.

McCollum, of course, is very familiar with Lillard as the two shared a backcourt for roughly 8.5 seasons in Portland. Very few players in the NBA know Lillard the way McCollum does. With this in mind, here is what McCollum had to say about the Lillard/Portland situation:

"“This is me just making a judgment from the sidelines,” McCollum said on the Ryen Russillo Podcast. “It’s not like Dame told me this. I think based on whatever they’re going to be able to do with this coming trade, if they’re not able to accomplish something heading towards the direction of winning, the organization may decide, ‘You know what, we can get a quality haul for him.’ And they move him.”"

The upcoming trade McCollum is alluding to is the one involving their third overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, a pick that they are reportedly looking to deal in order to build a contender around Lillard in Portland.

So, based on what McCollum is thinking here, if Portland can nab an All-Star caliber player or two in this deal, then that should be enough to keep Lillard in a Blazers’ uniform. However, if they can’t get a solid return for the pick or just end up deciding to keep the pick, then Lillard may be apt to ask for a trade.

Only time will tell how accurate McCollum’s prediction ultimately ends up being.

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