Portland takes another step back with CJ McCollum trade, but want to compete with Mavericks
The Trail Blazers have dealt Norman Powell, Robert Covington, and McCollum in recent days. It appears to be a total roster tear-down for Portland, but Adrian Wojnarowski reported they have no plans of tanking. They want to add pieces before the trade deadline to rebuild their roster around six-time All-Star Damian Lillard.
Lillard had abdominal surgery in January and is still weeks away from returning to the court. Portland is likely to miss the play-in tournament this season, and head into the lottery. They are hoping to land the Pelicans pick and have two lottery selections on their roster next season. They will have some flexibility to upgrade the talent around Dame too.
The Trail Blazers taking a step back this year further opens the door for Dallas to jump into the top four in the Western Conference. Every game could matter, so the final meeting between the two teams should be a Mavericks win, and it could be the difference between finishing fourth and fifth.
The Portland Trail Blazers are at a crossroads after dealing away three key rotation players. Jusuf Nurkic and Anfernee Simons are free agents this summer, and the team needs to re-sign both players if they want to return to contention when Damian Lillard is back from his injury.