NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on CJ McCollum Trade, Aron Baynes and More

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIAugust 8, 2021

NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on CJ McCollum Trade, Aron Baynes and More

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    Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

    While NBA free agents have only been able to officially sign deals with teams since Friday, there was a ton of news in the days leading up to those transactions getting finalized. A bunch of players have changed teams, and there have also been some major trades take place.

    But the start of the 2021-22 season is still more than two months away. There's sure to be plenty more news to come, and it's possible the landscape of the league could change even more between now and then.

    Here's some of the latest buzz from around the NBA.

Trail Blazers Unlikely to Trade McCollum?

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    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    CJ McCollum has spent his first eight NBA seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers and is under contract through the end of the 2023-24 season. So if the 29-year-old shooting guard were to change teams before then, it would have to be via trade.

    However, it seems like that isn't likely this offseason. According to The Athletic's Jason Quick, the Trail Blazers are "not actively shopping" McCollum. And that may not change anytime soon.

    "I don't know whether that is because Portland doesn't agree with how teams value McCollum or whether [general manager] Neil Olshey is overly infatuated with him, but the general tone I've heard is the Blazers won't move him just to have a different look next season," Quick wrote.

    There had been some speculation that Portland could look to trade McCollum to shake up its roster. Instead, he looks likely to be back with the team for his ninth NBA season.

    McCollum averaged a career-high 23.1 points and 4.7 assists in 47 games for the Trail Blazers during the 2020-21 campaign.

Baynes Could Miss All of 2021-22 Season Because of Injury

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    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    Although Aron Baynes was playing for Australia at the Olympics in Tokyo this summer, he missed the team's final four games on its road to winning the bronze medal. That's because the 34-year-old center suffered a neck injury in the Australia's third game of the tournament.

    It appears that Baynes' ailment could also affect his availability during the upcoming NBA season. The Athletic's Shams Charania reported that Baynes has "severe nerve damage in his neck, an injury more significant than initially diagnosed," which could cause him to miss the entire 2021-22 season.

    Baynes was still in the hospital as of Saturday morning, per Charania. That also prevented Baynes from being with his national team when it received its bronze medals.

    A nine-year NBA veteran, Baynes has one more season on his contract with the Toronto Raptors, for whom he first played last season. He averaged 6.1 points and 5.2 rebounds in 53 games (31 starts) during the 2020-21 campaign after previously turning out for the San Antonio Spurs, Detroit Pistons, Boston Celtics and Phoenix Suns.

Raptors Likely to Keep Dragic Heading into Upcoming Season?

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    Steven Senne/Associated Press

    In order for the Miami Heat to acquire veteran point guard Kyle Lowry, they had to arrange a sign-and-trade deal. And with that transaction, the Heat sent away a veteran point guard of their own in Goran Dragic.

    Now, it appears that Dragic is likely to be staying in Toronto. According to NBA reporter Marc Stein, the Raptors have shown "zero inclination to buy out" Dragic and have "rebuffed trade overtures" for him. Those reported actions are in line with recent comments from Toronto GM Bobby Webster. 

    "We want Goran here. I think he's happy to be here," Webster recently told reporters. "... I think as a basketball player, and as a vet, he provides a lot of value for us."

    Dragic is a 13-year NBA veteran who played for the Heat the past seven seasons. Although he's 35, he's contributed to be a solid contributor, having averaged 13.4 points and 4.4 assists in 50 games while mostly serving in a bench role last season.

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