James Harden was dealt in a league-shaking four-team trade on Wednesday. Despite not being included, the Portland Trail Blazers could be impacted externally.
The NBA will see its first seismic roster shift of 2020-21, in the form of a seven-player, four-team trade that will send James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets. One of the exciting aspects that comes with a former NBA MVP in the heart of his prime being dealt? Teams across the league — even those uninvolved in the final trade — are poised to be affected in some way. The Portland Trail Blazers included.
The deeper one looks into it, the more they can find, in terms of impacts with the Harden trade. As a team, Portland should be able to reap benefits from the move, as we will get into. The Rockets and Blazers met three, sometimes four times a season, and even locked horns in the postseason in 2013-14.
By sheer talent alone, James Harden often forced the Portland Trail Blazers to shape their entire defensive focus around enveloping him.
As far as individual players go, there are positives too. This will be forever unconfirmed, but it feels safe in saying that there were sighs of relief among the Northwest area, particularly in the McCollum household.
Those who have watched CJ McCollum over the course of his career know that he’s self-motivated, and a go-getter regardless of circumstance. But, after all of the weeks of being thrown in as a potential trade chip for Harden, it has to be calming to have that monkey off of his back. And that provides an excellent place to start: