New York Knicks

The Knicks are delusional if they think they can acquire CJ McCollum

The New York Knicks are trying revive their franchise under new leadership Tom Thibodeau.

They haven’t had a winning record since the 2012-13 season and have posted winning seasons just four times this millennium. 

Currently, Knicks are 14-16 and reportedly will look to bolster their roster. That means potentially bringing in veteran talent ahead of the March 25th NBA trade deadline. 

Among the the players the Knicks are interested in is Portland Trail Blazers’ guard CJ McCollum.

According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, the Knicks have been “monitoring” McCollum-  despite being out with an injury right now.

The Knicks have been linked to other potential trade targets in various reports, including Zach LaVine in Chicago, Victor Oladipo in Houston and Lonzo Ball in New Orleans. A source said they’re also monitoring Portland’s CJ McCollum, who is rehabbing from a broken foot and still has about $100 million guaranteed over three years after this season. The Blazers (18-10) have played well since McCollum’s injury, with shooting-guard replacement Gary Trent Jr. rising to the occasion. But it’s unclear if Portland is willing to deal McCollum.

Stefan Bondy

As much as Knick fans would love to have McCollum being paired with Julius Randle and RJ Barrett to help grow the young core, a trade for McCollum has and will likely continue to be a non-starter. 

Trail Blazers President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey shows no willingness to entertain offers for the second half of the team’s backcourt. 

“The odds of anything ever coming up of commensurate value is so hard to even fathom,” Olshey said about not wanting to trade either Lillard or McCollum following the 2017 sweep to Golden State. “I could give you the trite answer that nobody is untradeable, but clearly they are.” 

 

Before his foot injury, McCollum was playing some of the greatest basketball of his career.

To even fathom a trade, the Trail Blazers would command multiple first round picks and a core player back from the Knicks in an attempt to balance the money. 

Sure, the Knicks may be interested in McCollum, but they leave a lot to be desired on their current roster. 

The Knicks do possess a $15 million trade exception that will expire this season if they don’t use it, but that cannot be used in a trade involving McCollum because an exemption cannot be used combined with a matching salary. 

But, it is an asset they want to use before the season wraps up.

The Trail Blazers will be a tough sell no matter what the offer might be from any team.

Neil Olshey has been reluctant to include CJ McCollum in trade packages in the past. When Paul George was forcing his way out of Indiana, the Blazers reportedly offered all three 2017 first-round picks and any player not named Daman Lillard, CJ McCollum or Jusuf Nurkić. 

If OIshey wouldn’t entertain McCollum trades then, why would he do so after the best start to the Lehigh product’s career? And when the Blazers have the 5th best record in the West despite missing their two next-best players after Lillard? 

So, if there was real noise behind it, it seems that the Knicks would want to be the front runners in that, but all indications are this is nothing more than a Knicks pipe dream.  

It’s smart to at least have it out there that you want to inquire about McCollum from New York’s perspective, but it takes two to tango. And Neil Olshey doesn’t seem like the dancing type… 

Keep dreaming. 

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