After eight years in Portland, CJ McCollum has been traded to the New Orleans Pelicans, per multiple reports.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Blazers are sending McCollum, Larry Nance, and Tony Snell to New Orleans, in exchange for Josh Hart, Tomas Satoransky, Nickeil Walker-Alexander, Didi Louzada, a 2022 protected first-round pick, and two second-round picks.
NBA Twitter has been quick to play up the Damian Lillard angle after the biggest deal of trade deadline week so far:
trading CJ McCollum in 2019 to galvanize your commitment to Damian Lillard and win conference title is cool and all, but what if instead you got rid of him for an above replacement wing player and a bunch of draft picks that won’t do anything to keep Lillard in Portland?
— Dane (@danegado) February 8, 2022
In terms of players who can score at a high level, CJ McCollum is at the top of the list. Adding him to our already emerging core gives us the ability to both win games now and cultivate a sustainable future, where success is not something our hope, but our expectation.
— David Griffin Presser (@GriffinPresser) February 8, 2022
With CJ McCollum gone, is Damian Lillard next?
— Kristian Winfield #NFTAllStar (@Krisplashed) February 8, 2022
This much is clear in Portland: Teams will be emboldened to pursue Damian Lillard in the offseason once the Blazers complete their expected trade of CJ McCollum to New Orleans. Can't speak to Lillard's intentions but he'll be chased even harder now.
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 8, 2022
What Blazers spent to get Powell, Covington, Nance:
— Gary Trent
— Rodney Hood
— Derrick Jones
— 3 first round picks
What Blazers get from trading Powell, Covington, Nance:
— Eric Bledsoe
— Justise Winslow
— Keon Johnson
— 1 first round pick
Somebody grab the phone from the GM. pic.twitter.com/htxB1kycqr
— StatMuse (@statmuse) February 8, 2022
Damian Lillard in September:
"I want to see our roster improve… I have faith that will happen."
Since then, Portland has traded
Norm Powell and
Eric Bledsoe, Keon Johnson, Justise Winslow and Josh Hart and draft compensation???
— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) February 8, 2022
Of 15 players on Blazers roster, nine are guards (Lillard, Simons, Bledsoe, Hart, Smith Jr., Satoransky, Johnson, McLemore, Alexander-Walker). Gotta imagine more moves ahead …
— Jason Quick (@jwquick) February 8, 2022
I'd rather trade for Damian Lillard than James Harden
— Eliot Shorr-Parks (@EliotShorrParks) February 8, 2022