NBA Trade Grades: Reviewing Blazers-Pelicans Trade For McCollum

CJ McCollum, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday morning that the Portland Trail Blazers and New Orleans Pelicans have agreed to terms on a deal ahead of the NBA trade deadline that would send veteran shooting guard CJ McCollum, Tony Snell and Larry Nance Jr. to the Pelicans in exchange for Josh Hart, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Didi Louzada, Tomas Satoransky, a protected first-round pick in 2022 and two future second-round picks. 

The Pelicans’ first-round pick in 2022 is protected No. 5 through No. 14 and if not conveyed this year, the first-round kicks to the future for the Trail Blazers, according to ESPN

After trading Robert Covington and Norman Powell to the Los Angeles Clippers just a few days ago, it seemed inevitable that the Blazers were gearing up to make another big move ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline. 

The writing was on the wall for CJ McCollum’s future with Portland and by moving him, the Blazers have set themselves up to begin “rebuilding” or “re-tooling” for the future. 

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Pelicans Trade For CJ McCollum; Blazers Firesale Continues

New Orleans had aggressively been pursuing McCollum over the last few weeks and they now have a very stable and high-level core to contend for a playoff spot with. However, their long-term potential and ability to become a factor in the Western Conference hinders on Zion Williamson’s availability this season and moving forward. 

Williamson has not played at all this season after suffering a foot fracture in the offseason that required surgery. Continuing to rehab on his own away from the team, the Pelicans are optimistic that their young All-Star forward will be back on the floor at some point after the All-Star break this season. 

This opportunity to acquire CJ McCollum from the Portland Trail Blazers was too good to pass up on from the Pelicans perspective, which is why they pulled-the-trigger on this deal. 

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Pelicans Trade For CJ McCollum; Blazers Firesale Continues

While he is 30-years-old and turning 31 ahead of the start of the 2022-23 season in September, McCollum has proven that he is still a high-level factor offensively. In 36 games with the Blazers this season, the veteran shooting guard averaged 20.5 points and shot 38.4% from deep, giving the Pelicans exactly what they have been missing in their backcourt. 

The Pelicans are looking to win now and the Trail Blazers are beginning to build for the future, which led this big deal to happen ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline. 

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