Trade Grade: Portland Trail Blazers trade CJ McCollum to the New Orleans Pelicans

Image Credit: (Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports)

The NBA Trade Deadline is on February 10th, 2022 and I expected many transactions to occur especially trades. One team that already has been active during the trade deadline is the Portland Trail Blazers with there earlier trade involving Robert Covington and Norman Powell to the Los Angeles Clippers. Now another trade just came out involving the Portland Trail Blazers and New Orleans Pelicans. The Trade involves CJ McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers and Nickeil Alexander-Walker of the New Orleans Saints. You can see the details of this trade underneath.

Portland Trail Blazers acquire: SF/SG Josh Hart, SG/SF Tomas Satoransky, SF/SG Nickeil Alexander-Walker, SF Didi Louzada, a 2022 protected first-round pick, Two undisclosed second round picks
New Orleans Pelicans acquire: PG/SG CJ McCollum, PF/C Larry Nance Jr., SF/SG Tony Snell

Ok before I get into both sides of this deal I want to clarify the first round draft pick involved in the deal. Now according to Andrew Lopez who is an NBA reporter for espn. The New Orleans’ 2022 first-round pick if it is in 1-4 it Goes to the New Orleans Pelicans, if it is in 5-14 the pick Goes to the Portland Trail Blazers, If the pick is in 15-30 it goes to the Charlotte Hornets. Now what is interesting is that the Portland Trail Blazers get a future first-round pick if it doesn’t convey and the Charlotte Hornets get future second-round draft picks as well. As a fan of the Charlotte Hornets I am rooting for the New Orleans Pelicans to make the playoffs and have their pick in the 15-30 so my favorite team can get an extra draft pick to build the team. But I think that this will have to wait until later in the season to determine what will happen to this pick.

Portland Trail Blazers Side

Lets be real here we all new that this move was coming. It was no longer a question of When he will be traded but How will he be traded. Honestly i hate to say it but this move should have been made years ago. But the TrailBlazers in this deal showed one thing that it was about money. Especially as the Trail Blazers were above the Luxery Tax . Something interesting to note is that moments after the trade was revealed reports came out that the Trail Blazers plan to pursue high-end talent now rather than retreat. Which is a weird thing to do as McCollum was high end talent but it might be a sign that there is more to come for the Trail Blazers during the deadline. This was a good move to make as trading McCoullum saves a lot of money. They can now get there “high end talent” now as they can economically afford it. This might not be the last move they make though so absolutely keep an eye out.

New Orleans Pelicans Side

The New Orleans Pelicans needed to get a star next to Zion Williamson and CJ McCollum is that player. This move could also help the Pelicans not loose Zion once his rookie contract expires. McCollum could be the missing piece that helps the Pelicans solidify a spot in the playoffs. But two things are a concern especially his contract if he flops. But a bigger concern in this deal is how will the defense look as McCollum is not the best on defense. Well that is where Larry Nance JR. comes into play here. I have Larry Nance JR as a sleeper in this trade and he will help with the Pelicans defense after they decided to have Josh Hart in the deal. I think Nance if he stays healthy could have a good impact on this defense. Tony Snell will be a hit or miss player but he can also be depth on this team as well. This ddeal makes the Pelicans look like a team destined for playoffs especially with the Trio of Williamson – Ingram – McCollum.

Grades for CJ McCollum Trade
Portland Trail Blazers: C+
New Orleans Pelicans: B+

This is a tough one for me to grade but I am going to give the edge to the New Orleans Pelicans as they got a superstar in CJ McCollum. I am going to give a higher grade for the Trail Blazers than many others have as they did get nice pieces in Josh Hart and Nickeil Alexander-Walker. But the goal was to get salary relief and they did that. Now I wonder what blockbuster trade could be coming that involves the Portland Trail Blazers.

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