Heat Trade For Pelicans’ CJ McCollum In Bold Proposal

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Trade rumors defined this NBA offseason. Perhaps that’s true of every offseason, but this year’s break was especially intriguing. More than anything, we waited for the Portland Trail Blazers to send Damian Lillard to the Miami Heat. 

It didn’t happen. Instead, the Blazers sent Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks. This surprised the entire league. Lillard allegedly wanted to join the Heat. He was supposed to go there. Instead, Miami was left with nothing. 

Now, we’re looking at a team that hasn’t made any upgrades since an NBA Finals appearance. Since the Heat made it to the Finals by way of the play-in tournament, this is a problem. Nothing is guaranteed for Miami this year. They feel like a candidate to take a step backward.

Could acquiring CJ McCollum from the New Orleans Pelicans help them avoid that fate? 

NBA Trade Proposal — Miami Heat Land CJ McCollum

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New Orleans Pelicans Receive: G Kyle Lowry, G/F Duncan Robinson, 2027 First-Round Pick (Lottery Protected – MIA) 

Miami Heat Receive: G CJ McCollum, C Jonas Valanciunas 

Could the Heat settle on McCollum? It would be ironic if they did. For a long time, he was Lillard’s teammate. Some would suggest that that’s exactly how Lillard ended up on the Bucks. 

Think about it. Why is Giannis Antetokoumnpo a perfect co-star for Lillard? Isn’t it because Antetokoumnpo is a dominant two-way force with slight offensive shortcomings?

Meanwhile, Lillard is an elite offensive guard who struggles on defense. You wouldn’t want to pair him with a similar player, would you? 

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: CJ McCollum, Miami Heat, New Orleans Pelicans Updates

Well, that’s exactly what the Blazers tried to do. They paired Lillard and McCollum for years. The pair were an outstanding offensive backcourt, but on defense, they could be exploited regularly.

Should the Heat take the risk that McCollum will be exploited? 

Why The Miami Heat Do The Deal 

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Using the same logic, Miami has the pieces to cover for McCollum. Bam Adebayo is one of the best defensive players in the NBA. Jimmy Butler is a lockdown defender in his own right. The Heat can afford McCollum’s limitations on that end of the floor. 

Similarly, it doesn’t matter that McCollum isn’t a traditional point guard, either. The Heat get ample playmaking from that same duo. They only need a guard who can space the floor and create some offense. In other words, McCollum would be the perfect addition. 

Could Miami be apprehensive about taking on his deal? Sure. Lowry’s contract is expiring. It’s worth the cost – this team should view themselves as contenders.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: CJ McCollum, Miami Heat, New Orleans Pelicans Updates

Adding Valanciunas gives them some added size in the front court that they also lack. This team could get back in the Finals by making this move.

Should the Pelicans part with a pair of quality players? 

Why The New Orleans Pelicans Do The Deal 

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Allegedly, the Pelicans do want to move on from Valanciunas. They’re looking for a more defensive-minded big man. In other words, they’re looking for their version of Adebayo. 

This deal doesn’t land them one. On the other hand, it does clear up some cap space on a short-term basis. If the Pelicans wanted, they could make a run at free agents who fit their needs next summer.

In the meantime, they could lean on Cody Zellar and small ball lineups featuring Larry Nance Jr. at the 5. Yet, the Pelicans wouldn’t want to salary dump McCollum and Valanciunas. They’re both useful players.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: CJ McCollum, Miami Heat, New Orleans Pelicans Updates

So, they’re getting a lottery-protected pick here as well. That’s a solid asset. In time, they could likely use that pick to get in on some major trade rumors. 

About James Piercey 3866 Articles
When it comes to exploring the endless possibilities of NBA trades, there's no one quite like James Piercey. With a keen eye for player dynamics, salary cap intricacies, and a knack for discovering uncharted trade territory, James has risen to prominence as the preeminent expert in the realm of hypothetical NBA trades. James is also known for his work covering the Houston Rockets for SB Nation's The Dream Shake — a blog that gives a daily, comprehensive look at the team. He has written for various outlets, including FanSided and Last Word on Sports, among others.