Veteran guard C.J. McCollum has been involved in trade rumors since the Trail Blazers were eliminated by the Nuggets in the playoffs, and he said has no issue with it.
“Honestly, I don’t take offense to people mentioning me in trades, or saying that I need to be traded, or I should be this or I should be that or my worth is XYZ, because I signed up for this life,” McCollum said on the Pull Up podcast. “I signed up to play sports. I’m thankful for it. I prayed for an opportunity to be in this position since I was a child.“I dedicate my life, my time, and my soul to this so I’m not offended when people are under the opinion that I should be moved or I should be traded because as I said, I come from a small city in Canton, Ohio where kids would love to be in my position.
“They’d love to be in my position where they get to play for a living. They get to take care of their family, take care of their community, give back, inspire people, so I take it all in stride.”
McCollum has been linked to the Cavaliers, and Cleveland is only about a 50-minute drive from his hometown of Canton. He grew up rooting for the city’s sports teams and remains an enthusiastic supporter of the NFL’s Browns.
He also been linked to the Spurs and several others. At this point, though, it does not appear the Blazers are actively looking to move McCollum. They are still in need of a coach after mutually parting ways with Terry Stotts, and that search is the priority.
But there is some belief outside the organization that the Blazers have gone as far as they can with the backcourt of Damian Lillard and McCollum, so it’s only natural for opposig executives to check on the availability of both.
And as Blazers president Neil Olshey said, “Nothing is ever off the table if it advances us closer to a championship.”
Either way, McCollum has no issues with the extra attention.
“I think it’s a sign that for one, you’ve done things the right way,” he said. “That you do have some value, that people do have an interest in you.”
McCollum, 29, averaged 23.1 points and 4.7 assists in 47 games this past season. He was drafted by Portland with the No. 10 overall pick in 2013, and like fellow Blazers guard Lillard, has spent his entire pro career playing for Stotts.
McCollum has three years and around $100 million left on his contract.