CJ McCollum addresses trade rumors as 2021-22 season looms

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CJ McCollum addresses trade rumors as 2021-22 season looms originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

Social media has been abuzz for weeks now with the trade rumors surrounding the Philadelphia 76ers and Ben Simmons, while many have speculated a trade that brings Simmons to Portland for CJ McCollum.

The Trail Blazers starting shooting guard joined the show ‘Jalen and Jacoby’ on ESPN Monday morning with hosts Jalen Rose and David Jacoby to discuss the latest trade rumors and more.   

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McCollum is coming off a season with the Blazers where he averaged 23.1 points per game after fracturing his foot earlier in the year. Prior to getting injured, he was averaging 26.7 points per game in his first 13 games and looked to earn his first All-Star nod.

There’s plenty of anticipation about the upcoming season with a new coach and coaching staff in Portland.

McCollum mentioned what his conversations have been like so far with new head coach Chauncey Billups in his morning show appearance.

“We’ve been talking about the importance of comradery, obviously chemistry,” McCollum explained. “Dame [Lillard] and I have played together for so long, we understand how to co-exist together, but it’s just more so focusing in on the defensive end.”

We’ve been a top 5, top 10 offensive team for basically all our career and now it’s time to focus our attention on that side of the ball to make some more strides and try to make a run this season.

CJ McCollum on his career playing alongside Damian Lillard

Jalen didn’t hold back from asking McCollum about how he’s been dealing with trade rumors this offseason.

“I think the same way I always do, man,” McCollum said with a smile. “I control what I can control – continue to work on my game, continue to take advantage of my summers, try to improve… And show up and do your job.”

It’s going to be what it’s going to be at the end of the day. I’m happy in my situation. I’ve been able to continue to figure out ways to improve and help us make the playoffs eight straight years, six straight years as a starter and I look forward to the challenge of trying to get back to the playoffs this upcoming season.

CJ McCollum

The 29-year-old guard also added that he believes the Blazers will be competitive this season with their improved defensive roster and “creativity with fresh faces in Chauncey and a new staff.”

McCollum and the Blazers tip-off training camp on Sept. 28 with the first preseason game slated for Oct. 4 against the Golden State Warriors.