NBA Trade Rumors: Blazers Want Impact Player Next to Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistNovember 20, 2018

PORTLAND, OR - NOVEMBER 04:  CJ McCollum #3 of the Portland Trail Blazers and Damian Lillard #0 walk off the court against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Moda Center on November 4, 2018 in Portland, Oregon.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images,)  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images,)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

As the Portland Trail Blazers aim to get over the hump in the postseason, they are reportedly looking to bring in someone to complement Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.

According to ESPN.com's Zach Lowe, Portland wants to add a third impact player to provide support for its dynamic duo.

Lowe noted that second-year forward Zach Collins' solid start to the 2018-19 campaign gives the team flexibility to make deals, perhaps making Jusuf Nurkic and his $48 million contract expendable.

Portland has been one of the NBA's best regular-season teams since drafting McCollum 10th overall in 2013. It has made the postseason every season of the Lillard-McCollum era, winning an average of nearly 48 games per season.

That regular-season success has not carried over into the playoffs, though. Portland has not made it past the second round since 2000. It appeared the Trail Blazers might break that streak last season after earning the third seed in the loaded West, but they wound up getting swept by the New Orleans Pelicans.

Portland has lost 10 consecutive postseason games, being swept in the first round each of the past two seasons after reaching the conference semifinals in 2016.

Some thought the team should break up its core, but McCollum made it clear on ESPN's First Take that he believed the roster should be kept intact:

The Trail Blazers apparently agree; according to Lowe, they are looking to add, not subtract.

Portland (11-5) is currently tied atop the Western Conference standings. There is still a long way to go in this 82-game grind, but the Trail Blazers' recent track record indicates they aren't going to go away. But winning in the regular season and the postseason are two different things—especially when trying to topple the Golden State Warriors' dynasty.

When healthy, the Warriors lineup features five All-Stars: Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and DeMarcus Cousins. That's without even mentioning 2015 Finals MVP Andre Iguodala. As talented as the Trail Blazers roster may be, adding another impact player (or more) would figure to give them a better shot at dethroning the two-time defending champs.


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