The Blazers tore out the drywall Tuesday morning in their continued bid to create flexibility and rebuild the roster around Lillard by trading CJ McCollum to the New Orleans Pelicans along with Larry Nance Jr and Tony Snell for Josh Hart, Nickeil Alexander Walker, Tomas Satoransky, Didi Louzada, a 2022 protected 1st rnd pick, and a future 2nd.
The Blazers got positive value for McCollum and that’s a win, regardless if the take isn’t great. Though they lose size with Larry Nance Jr going out. They won’t miss who had a miss year after signing with Portland, falling out of the rotation before falling back in due to injuries and trades on Portland’s part.
The Blazers get Josh Hart, a versatile player who can play across 3 positions. The 6’5 guard has played at the four for the Pelicans this season and will do the same for Portland. He is a streaky shooter who can buy the three at a good clip. His physicality lends to a a good defensive mindset.
Guards Nickeil Alexander Walker and Tomas Satoransky are likely trade fodder and will be dealt before the deadline. Satoransky is an expiring contract and if he isn’t traded he will come off the books to help the Blazers make room for a free agent this summer.
Didi Louzada who was suspended for use of illegal substances will likely never see time with Portland.
The 1st rnd pick the Blazers get is confusing and intriguing. The Blazers only get the pick this year if it falls between 5th -14th. If it falls 1st -5th the Pelicans keep it, if it falls 15th and beyond it goes to Memphis. If it is not conveyed this year, it will continue to be owed to Portland till it is.
So, the Blazers could end up with 2 1sts this draft to help them in their rebuild or to trade for established players if they want to stay competitive.
CJ McCollum was drafted by the Blazers in 2013 and played 9 seasons next to Damian Lillard, averaging 19 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 3.4 assists. He is second behind only Damian Lillard for all time 3pt makes (1297) and attempts (3272) and 5th in points (10710).
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