After Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard floated a few destinations that would hypothetically appeal to him if he were to ask for a trade, his longtime backcourt mate CJ McCollum spoke with ESPN’s Alan Hahn, Zach Lowe and Jay Williams on “Get Up” about what he considers the best future trajectory for the Portland All-Star (YouTube video link).
McCollum, now with the Pelicans, believes the Heat would have the edge if Lillard were to request a trade, but says the Nets might also be an appealing fit for his former teammate.
“I’m going to preface this by saying Dame is my guy and I know he wants to be in Portland,” McCollum said. “He’s always talking about his affinity for bringing a championship to Portland… The obvious answer here is that if something (i.e. a trade) were to occur… Miami’s in the Finals right now, right? They have great culture, they have obviously (head coach) Erik Spoelstra, they have a young core… they have a need for what he brings to the table.”
There’s more out of the Northwest Division:
- Current Trail Blazers owner Jody Allen has turned down a second proposal by Nike head honcho Phil Knight and Dodgers minority owner Alan Smolinsky to purchase the team. Bill Oram of The Oregonian writes that Knight, a unique fixture in the Portland sports world, would represent a worthy successor to Allen’s late brother Paul Allen, known for his passion about the Trail Blazers and his NFL franchise, the Seattle Seahawks.
- Thunder rookie swingman Jalen Williams intends to play in this year’s Summer League, per Daniel Bell of BSO (Twitter link). The All-Rookie First Teamer enjoyed a standout inaugural NBA season, averaging 14.1 PPG on .521/.356/.812 shooting splits, along with 4.5 RPG, 3.3 APG, and 1.4 SPG across 75 contests.
- Former Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski is looking forward to his new pro ball opportunity, serving as the head coach of the Jazz‘s NBAGL affiliate, the Salt Lake City Stars, per Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune. “I’ve spent two years in Park City, and during those two years, the Jazz organization — Justin (Zanik) and Danny (Ainge) and those guys, and (former head coach Quin Snyder), who’s a good friend of mine — were very generous with allowing me to observe and watch them work,” Wojciechowski said. “I want to do a great job of creating a culture that mirrors the Jazz (on the Stars).”