Rumors: Could the Blazers trade CJ McCollum for Paul George or Tobias Harris?

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Rumors: Could the Blazers trade CJ McCollum for Paul George or Tobias Harris? originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

With another first-round exit in the books and Terry Stotts gone, the Blazers could be looking for a makeover.

A new era begins with a new head coach, who takes over for Stotts after a nine-year run.

Point guard Damian Lillard will have a role in picking the next head coach and he'll likely be consulted when it comes to personnel decisions. 

President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey will, of course, have the final say. 

As the Blazers have already taken the first steps in evaluating their head coach, the roster composition is next. 

And guard CJ McCollum appears to be at the forefront of a lot of trade speculation.

Some believe that in order for the Blazers to take the next step, McCollum may need to be dealt for maybe a wing player. 

One destination for McCollum, an Ohio native, is his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. Other teams include the San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat, and even possibly the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Clippers would be interesting because they’re believed to trade Paul George in a deal for McCollum, and just a few seasons ago George was linked to the Blazers.

Acquiring George could be the missing piece to elevate Portland’s title hopes.

George signed a four-year, $190 million extension with the Clippers during the offseason which goes in effect at the start of the 2021-’22 season.

ESPN’s Zach Lowe gave his thoughts on the possibility of McCollum being dealt on his podcast.

“Could you trade McCollum for something that fits better around Dame? And I think the tough spot there is other teams view CJ McCollum as a very good player who’s a number three guy on a great team and I think the results in Portland bear that out.”

The gap between number one and number two and maybe number one and number three is too big for Portland to compete on the biggest stages.

“So if you trade CJ McCollum it’s not like you’re going to magically somehow get a great number two player in exchange for him that fits better with Dame, what you’re really trying to get is an equivalent player on the NBA’s total hierarchy who fits better with Dame and flipping a number three for a number three who fits better I don’t think changes your world.”

Lowe moves on to suggest a trade that could be the most likely as far as fair value with McCollum heading to the Philadelphia 76ers for Tobias Harris.

“Tobias Harris, that’s seems like roughly, maybe a should-be All Star. That’s not changing your life if you’re Damian Lillard. I think Portland is in a pretty tough spot that if they can’t find a way to meaningfully upgrade at the highest level around Dame ... I don’t know how you don't have a secret spit balling session about how much you get for Dame.”

Karl-Anthony Towns to the Blazers trade rumors have already begun, too. 

Changes are needed in Portland, and tough decisions will need to be made. Maybe trading McCollum is one of them.

Olshey has never given any indication that the Blazers are willing to trade McCollum, and he's not going to float the idea through the media. The Blazers camp is a tight lipped operation.

But the Blazers have never been more at a crossroads than they are now.

The team is in the position where he's their greatest asset without dealing Lillard, but also being in a spot to possibly acquire an All-Star caliber league, in a league where wings typically win rings.

Maybe the Blazers can get creative and acquire a third All-Star caliber without dealing McCollum, but that presently seems like a tall task.

Dealing McCollum would allow the team to start Anfernee Simons, who's shown to be a solid contributor when given the opportunity.

All of this is speculation, but it feels like the Blazers are in for a busy offseason.