Cronin’s second deal was one of his best moves so far
Just eight days after his worst move thus far, Cronin traded C.J. McCollum, Larry Nance Jr., and Tony Snell to the New Orleans Pelicans for Josh Hart, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Tomas Satoransky, a 2027 second-round pick, Didi Louzada, a 2022 first-round pick via New Orleans, and a 2026 second-round pick (more favorable of NOP or POR pick).
This trade was about moving McCollum’s $33,333,333 cap hit to create space for the Blazers to find another star to pair with Lillard. The Lillard-McCollum backcourt duo was a fan favorite and helped the Blazers make the Western Conference finals, but it was clear to all Blazers fans that the duo wasn’t going to be able to carry the team any further than that.
In making this trade, Cronin was able to ship off McCollum’s bad contract, along with Nance Jr. who didn’t fit, for Josh Hart and a first-round pick. Hart was later part of a trade that looks better by the day, and although that first-round pick didn’t come to fruition in 2022, it’s available in 2025 – so long as the Milwaukee Bucks don’t get a top-4 pick.