Portland Trail Blazers: 3 reasons trading CJ McCollum has never made sense

CJ McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
CJ McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) /
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Portland Trail Blazers
CJ McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

No. 3 — The Portland Trail Blazers never got to “run it back” with a healthy core

In my eyes, the next time CJ McCollum takes the floor will be the first time he’ll be worthy of an actual assessment, as it relates to trade dialogue. The Portland Trail Blazers haven’t had a top-to-bottom team this deep since 2014-15.

The cancellation of the season could throw a monkey wrench into things, but if Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins return, and the Blazers are allowed to play things out with Carmelo Anthony, Hassan Whiteside, and Trevor Ariza still in tow, we’re talking about a rested, healthy club that has a chance to be seen as the deepest in the NBA.

And in some roundabout way, this is the way the circle should turn. After a quick four-game dispatch in last season’s Western Conference Finals, McCollum and the crew entered this season under the expectations that the West would be wide open, and, with new pieces, their chance to improve upon their best season since 1999-00. So, as they say on the playground, here’s there “run-it-back.”

Trading McCollum seems foolish, considering what the team showed us at even near full health. They made the sacrifices, too; both of the Blazers star guards pulled out of Team USA basketball events, under the impression that saving his body for potential basketball in June — and this is not what he meant — would be there for the taking.

But in the NBA world, it may as well be the United States of Amnesia. No one remembers that.

It’s easy to forget this: during Nurkic’s last healthy season, there were only seven lineups league-wide that produced a better net rating than Portland’s 3-man lineup of McCollum, Nurkic, and Lillard.

And none of those seven are together anymore.

Next. The Portland Trail Blazers should try and resign everyone. dark

McCollum and the Blazers deserve one clear-cut shot at (close-to) full health before trade rumors should be at the forefront of any conversation. And if it doesn’t work out, then by all means — pull out the old Nokia, hit the button three times for one letter, and do what you have to do.