NBA Rumors: CJ McCollum to Toronto Raptors

The Portland Trail Blazers are expected to be sellers at the NBA Trade Deadline with star player Damian Lillard dealing with an abdominal injury and with the team sitting 10th in the Western Conference, it would make little to no sense for Portland to make a run at the playoffs this season.  The pair of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum simply isn't good enough when compared to the elite teams in the NBA and they don't have enough pieces around them to ever be taken seriously as a potential title-winning team.  This became abundantly clear when the Golden State Warriors swept the Trail Blazers in the 2019 Western Conference Finals - Lillard and McCollum's lone appearance that deep in the playoffs, and Portland management simply hasn't done enough since then to change the team's fortune.

While many rival executives have suggested that Portland's dynamic duo needs to be split up in order for the team to take the next step to become serious contenders, they have always seemed unwilling to even consider moving the sharpshooting guard.  Perhaps, rumours of Lillard wanting to play elsewhere becoming louder and louder prior to his injury will push the Blazers to shake things up and give the team a new foundation to build on, with the 6x All-Star being the centerpiece.  

John Hollinger of The Athletic suggests that Portland and Toronto could be trade partners, with the Raptors acquiring McCollum for a package including Goran Dragic:

Something like Dragic, Khem Birch and Malachi Flynn for McCollum works, just barely, but it really handcuffs the Raptors tax-wise because of McCollum’s salary. A deal for Powell wouldn’t do that, although it would somewhat oddly reunite the two players who recently were traded for each other in Powell and Trent Jr. and would likely cost the Raptors a first.

A Norman Powell reunion hasn't been ruled out either but as Hollinger points out, bringing Powell could be costly and it could prove to be an odd fit on the court.  The Raptors would be interested in McCollum's ability to create his own shot, and he could fit in nicely in the starting lineup alongside Fred Vanvleet.

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