How The Los Angeles Lakers Blew A Chance To Get C.J. McCollum
The Portland Trail Blazers can deny it all they want, but the writing is on the wall. The backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum is not working like they hoped it would. But there is a solution to their problem, or at least it was. The easy answer was the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers were trying to rid themselves of Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson, according to Bleacher Report, and the Blazers would’ve been the perfect partner. All the Lakers had to do was make a strong play for C.J. McCollum and maybe both teams would have had different results this year.
The Blazers could have swung a deal and sent McCollum and Al Farouq Aminu to the Los Angeles Lakers for Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., and Julius Randle. While it may seem one-sided, it’s really not. The Blazers are thin up front. Not thin in terms of bodies in the frontcourt but in terms of production. The Blazers’ forwards read like a who’s who of big men. Any given night, Terry Stotts can have a rotation that includes Aminu, Meyers Leonard, Ed Davis, Maurice Harkless, and Noah Vonleh (before his trade). While they are deep, not one player averaged more than nine points per game before the trade deadline.
But where the deal would have made sense for both teams is Larry Nance.
The Lakers And Trail Blazers May Regret Not Pulling This Trade Off
The Los Angeles Lakers would have gotten everything they want in this deal: Randle and Clarkson gone, a great backup forward in Aminu, and a deadly perimeter player in McCollum. The deal seems like a good one with the only issue being the Blazers holding on to what they think can still work. The Lillard and McCollum backcourt will always be enough to fight for a playoff spot but if there is no help from the frontcourt, then the Blazers will find themselves always on the outside looking in. By adding Randle, Clarkson, and Nance, Lillard would have the pieces he needed to avoid the embarrassment the New Orleans put on him this playoff.
The Lakers could be looking toward a future with Lonzo Ball, McCollum, Ingram, and Kuzma, instead, they have major question marks heading into this offseason.
Sometimes letting go is the only way to move forward. The Los Angeles Lakers were willing to try, but the Blazers were still holding on to hope.Follow @BXReporter