After Firing Neil Olshey, Blazers Could Trade CJ McCollum Next

JB Baruelo

The Portland Trail Blazers have recently parted ways with Neil Olshey. After determining that he violated the team's code of conduct, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that the Trail Blazers decided to fire Olshey as the team's president of basketball operations and general manager. While they are looking for their permanent replacement for Olshey, assistant GM Joe Cronin is expected to assume the role as the Trail Blazers' interim general manager.

After their recent decision to get rid of Olshey, rumors have stated to swirl around the explosive backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.

Is Trading CJ McCollum Blazers' Next Move?

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Olshey's firing doesn't have something to do with the Trail Blazers' performance in the 2021-22 NBA season, but it is expected to play a major role in their next move. According to Kenneth Teape of NBA Analysis Network, Olshey's successor may consider breaking the Trail Blazers' explosive backcourt duo and find McCollum a new home before the 2022 NBA trade deadline.

"One way to try and turn things around on that end of the court would be trading McCollum," Teape wrote. "The Trail Blazers are lacking in size with their current roster alignment. Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Norman Powell, the starting small forward, are all listed at 6’3” or shorter."

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Does Trading CJ McCollum Make Sense?

It wouldn't be a surprise if the next Trail Blazers' president of basketball operations and general manager decide to trade McCollum. The explosive backcourt duo of Lillard and McColly was indeed the main reason behind their eight consecutive trips to the playoffs but in the years that they spent together, their only greatest achievement was reaching the Western Conference Finals in 2019 where they got easily swept by the Golden State.

Using McCollum as their main trade chip would enable the Trail Blazers to acquire assets to rebuild their team around Lillard.

Sixers A Potential Trade Partner For Trail Blazers

One of the potential trade partners for the Trail Blazers in the deal involving McCollum is the Philadelphia 76ers. As of now, the Sixers are active on the trade market, finding disgruntled superstar Ben Simmons a new home. In the deal involving Simmons, the Sixers are reportedly seeking an All-Star who would complement Joel Embiid on the court.

McCollum may not be on the same level as James Harden, Bradley Beal, and Damian Lillard but with his ability to efficiently knock down shots from beyond the arc, he would nicely fit alongside Embiid in Philadelphia.

Trail Blazers Pair Ben Simmons With Damian Lillard

In a recent appearance on The Bills Simmons Podcast, Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer explained why swapping McCollum for Simmons would make a lot of sense for the Trail Blazers.

“If they could pair Simmons with Damian Lillard, that’s the type of upside move that doesn’t necessarily put them on the level of a Golden State, Phoenix, Utah.... but at least it makes you different than you’ve been the last six or seven years," O'Connor said, as quoted by Fox Sports. “Ben Simmons can change what that team can do in the half court as an offence, it can change what they are as a defence as an entire unit.”

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