NBA Trade Grades: Pels land CJ McCollum; Blazers are now rebuilding?

Portland Trail Blazers C.J. McCollum (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
Portland Trail Blazers C.J. McCollum (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports) /
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CJ McCollum
CJ McCollum (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

Grading the NBA trade which sent CJ McCollum to the New Orleans Pelicans. 

Even though CJ McCollum’s name had been popping up in the rumor mill over the last week, I still held my hesitance that he would actually be moved ahead of the NBA Trade Deadline. Nevertheless, Tuesday morning, he’s officially been moved.

Officially, the Portland Trail Blazers traded McCollum, Larry Nance, and Tony Snell to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Josh Hart, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Tomas Satoransky, Didi Louzada, a 2022 first-round pick (protected), and two second-round picks.

Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on the pick protections:

"Sources: The Blazers are acquiring New Orleans’ 2022 first-round pick with protections. The pick comes to the Blazers if it lands between Nos. 5 and 14. If it doesn’t convey this year, the first-rounder kicks to the future for Portland."

On one side, this deal makes a ton of sense. The Pelicans failed to land Kyle Lowry after letting Lonzo Ball walk during the offseason. They have needed guard help and finally get that here with McCollum.

However, for the Blazers, I’m still not sure what the end game is for them as the trade deadline approaches. We try to figure out what exactly the thinking was with this deal from both sides as we grade the trade.