CJ McCollum on Damian Lillard: 'If he wanted me to leave, I think he would say that'

“Me and Dame have a good relationship,” McCollum said. “I think when Dame speaks, you hear him. When you hear ‘sources’ and ‘anonymous’, I don’t necessarily know if that is Dame or not, because it’s not Dame putting his name on it. He generally puts his name on things. I know where he stands with me, and he knows where I stand with him. The organization, they need to do what is best for themselves.” I asked where he thought he stood with Lillard. “If he wanted me to leave, I think he would say that,” McCollum said. “He’s not speaking on me behind closed doors because that’s not in his DNA. He’s not built like that. He’s solid, and I know his word is his bond.”
Source: Jason Quick @ The Athletic

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Sam Amick @sam_amick
ICYMI, in the wake of the Neil Olshey firing in Portland, a deeper look at the Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard dilemma and intel/insight on the question of what comes next, with @Shams Charania, @TheAthletic
https://t.co/k2wNvUl0Kj pic.twitter.com/GUpB4booAp3:28 PM

Sam Quinn @SamQuinnCBS
My official prediction is that the Blazers don’t extend Damian Lillard and the next GM trades him. I’m prepared to be wrong about this for a multitude of reasons, but that feels like the right outcome for all parties involved. – 2:15 PM
Sam Quinn @SamQuinnCBS
If Damian Lillard ends up winning this power struggle and pushing the Blazers into a mini rebuild, Lakers Twitter’s Robert Covington dreams might genuinely become possible. A Dame-centric timeline would theoretically make Talen Horton-Tucker more valuable than future picks. pic.twitter.com/PJ5yYRzlDs2:13 PM

Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA
All these Dame rumors, meanwhile this is me just waiting for @Chris Haynes to clear it all up. pic.twitter.com/P62qDKWV2Q2:04 PM
Ky Carlin @Ky_Carlin
Looks like Ben Simmons “likes” of playing with Damian Lillard #Sixers pic.twitter.com/k7A16MUUUL1:08 PM

Damian Lillard @Dame_Lillard
Shoutout @ELLEmagazine for having me on #SongAssociation. How’d I do???
🎥 https://t.co/AkScMiaZb8 pic.twitter.com/KIEMVUf8rk12:54 PM

Sam Quinn @SamQuinnCBS
From Quick’s story: Portland turned down Jrue Holiday for C.J. McCollum and three first-round picks.
I wouldn’t have done three. I probably would have done two if the Pelicans could’ve been negotiated down to there (with some protections). Jrue is Dame’s ideal backcourt partner. pic.twitter.com/rDO5sZREXU12:20 PM

Jason Jones @mr_jasonjones
Inside the mind of CJ McCollum: A conversation and a text message show the Blazers guard’s current struggle
via @TheAthletic theathletic.com/3002581/2021/1…11:07 AM
Jason Quick @jwquick
It sure felt like CJ McCollum was saying goodbye on Monday night.
“It’s not a goodbye. I’m still here,” he said.
His head? That’s trickier to pinpoint. A look at what’s going on between the ears of the Trail Blazers guard during these tumultuous times: theathletic.com/3002581/2021/1…10:19 AM
Jake Fischer @JakeLFischer
What’s next in Portland under Joe Cronin, how it impacts the future of Damian Lillard, and the many trade possibilities that now confront the Trail Blazers, at @BR_NBA: bleacherreport.com/articles/29511…10:08 AM
Sam Vecenie @Sam_Vecenie
The Blazers have now lost 6 out of 7. Damian Lillard seems not particularly pleased, and they just fired their GM.
Watch/Listen to @Danny Leroux and I talk about the mess that is the Blazers:
Trade fixes? youtube.com/watch?v=lHOEuA…
Olshey Firing/Defense: youtube.com/watch?v=48eXI-…1:15 AM
Sean Highkin @highkin
Dennis Smith Jr. has had a good few games with Dame and Simons out. – 11:44 PM
John Hollinger @johnhollinger
With Lillard, McCollum and Simons all out, C.J. Elleby is getting some run as the Blazers’ **point guard**
It’s going about how you imagined. – 10:45 PM
Law Murray @LawMurrayTheNU
Clippers break up the Terance Mann-Luke Kennard combo, start Jackson, Kennard, George, Morris, Zubac.
Looks like CJ McCollum is out tonight with Portland starting Dennis Smith Jr., Norman Powell, Tony Snell, Robert Covington, Jusuf Nurkic. – 9:34 PM
Aaron J. Fentress @AaronJFentress
The Blazers will be without Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Anfernee Simons and Nassir Little tonight against the Clippers. – 9:31 PM
Jay Allen @PDXjay
CJ McCollum (rib contusion) has been downgraded from probable to doubtful for tonight’s game against the Clippers. #Blazers8:34 PM
Jay Allen @PDXjay
Damian Lillard (abdominal tendinopathy–injury management) is out tonight against the Clippers, but he is going through a pregame warmup here at Moda Center. Getting some threes up at the moment. – 8:27 PM
Law Murray @LawMurrayTheNU
Chauncey Billups says that he “hopes” CJ McCollum (rib) plays tonight, but that he’s not sure. – 8:24 PM
Mirjam Swanson @MirjamSwanson
Billups: “We’re hoping CJ plays, but right now we’re not sure.” Also notes, it’s hard playing with Dame and Ant, who both will be out. – 8:24 PM
Ira Winderman @IraHeatBeat
From earlier — ASK IRA: Would/could Heat enter a Damian Lillard derby? sun-sentinel.com/sports/miami-h…5:16 PM
Kevin O’Connor @KevinOConnorNBA
A trade package built around CJ McCollum for Ben Simmons makes perfect sense for the Trail Blazers: pic.twitter.com/3oAUycSy7M5:01 PM

Sean Highkin @highkin
Ownership isn’t signing off on a Dame trade. They’re already getting killed on ticket sales as it is. You do that, you might as well just move the team to Seattle. – 2:45 PM
Ben Rohrbach @brohrbach
The Portland Paradox: Trade CJ McCollum now or risk losing Damian Lillard soon. For @The Vertical: sports.yahoo.com/the-portland-p…2:45 PM
Kyle Neubeck @KyleNeubeck
so, some thoughts on the Lillard/Simmons/McCollum stuff from this morning phillyvoice.com/nba-trade-rumo…2:37 PM
Matthew Tynan @Matthew_Tynan
Spurs have gotten some big breaks on this road trip, with Dame missing the game in Portland and Booker being out tonight in Phoenix. Doesn’t take away from what they’ve done, though. A sign of progress is beating the teams that are down. Tonight another test in that capacity. – 2:33 PM
Sirius XM NBA @SiriusXMNBA
According to reports, Damian Lillard wants to play with Ben Simmons in Portland.
Former #Blazers Forward @Bonzi Wells tells @Grady & @Howard Beck why they could succeed together #RipCity pic.twitter.com/TNumWZEhIs2:00 PM

More on this storyline

According to Shams Charania, Lillard is interested in playing with Simmons and a package including McCollum, a first-round pick, and a young player such as Nassir Little or Anfernee Simons has been discussed. Such a deal would be close to a wash salary-wise, which is important considering both teams are a little over the luxury tax. While completely blowing it up now is at least worth a discussion, it’s probably more pragmatic to acquire an All-Star like Simmons first, especially at that price, and try to compete. -via HoopsHype / December 7, 2021
If the Blazers cannot acquire Simmons, Pascal Siakam would be another great addition to the team. A lot of the same arguments for acquiring Simmons such as the defensive versatility he brings and lineup configurations he allows can be applied to Siakam. It also helps that both players earn identical salaries, allowing the Blazers to put together a similar package for Siakam. -via HoopsHype / December 7, 2021
A bit of important reporting we will try not to bury in a recap — a source familiar with the situation spoke to PhillyVoice on Monday evening and said the Sixers have had no recent discussions with Portland regarding a CJ McCollum trade, and a package centered around the Blazers’ guard is not currently of interest to the Sixers. -via Philly Voice / December 7, 2021

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