8:53pm: McCollum released an optimistic statement addressing the injury on his personal Instagram page.
Per Portland, McCollum incurred the injury, also known as a pneumothorax, during a 145-117 loss to the Celtics on December 4. The team went on to disclose that McCollum would undergo further testing before a recovery timeline is determined.
The 30-year-old is averaging 20.6 PPG, 4.5 APG, 4.1 RPG and 1.1 SPG across 35.3 MPG for the 11-14 Trail Blazers, currently the N0. 10 seed in the Western Conference and losers of three straight games. McCollum owns a shooting line this season of .424/.393/.700.
Portland is also missing All-Star point guard Damian Lillard, still recuperating from lower abdominal tendinopathy. The 31-year-old is in the first season of a four-year, $176.3MM maximum contract with the Trail Blazers. Lillard will become eligible for a two-year maximum extension to that deal during the 2022 offseason.
McCollum, who has three years and $100MM guaranteed on his deal, has long been considered a viable candidate for a trade to improve the team alongside his All-NBA backcourt running mate. Prior to this injury news, a deal for embattled Sixers All-Star Ben Simmons seemed possible.
This news is very scary for one of the NBA’s most dynamic players. We at Hoops Rumors wish McCollum a speedy and full recovery and can’t wait to see him lighting up box scores very soon.