Shaquille O’Neal Destroys Trail Blazers for Separating CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard: “Why Don’t You Make a Trade Around Them?”

Published 02/09/2022, 3:30 PM EST
NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 06: Shaquille O’Neal appears to promote “Toys for Tots” during the AOL BUILD Series at AOL HQ on December 6, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Donna Ward/Getty Images)

With CJ McCollum’s exit from the Trail Blazers getting closer by the minute, it will put an end to a solid partnership. For years now, the duo of CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard have been the backbone of Portland’s attack. But as the trade deadline approaches, it seems to be the end of the road. And according to Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal, the Trail Blazers have made a mistake.

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At the age of 30, it is safe to say that CJ McCollum still has a couple of good years left in him. Averaging 19 points in his career, he combined with Damian Lillard to form a deadly guard combination. After all, he has been with Portland since day one and has nearly completed a decade with the franchise. However, with the Pelicans alarm bell calling, is this the right step for CJ?

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Shaquille O’Neal unhappy with Trail Blazers over CJ McCollum exit

Ahead of this week’s trade deadline, the Pelicans have completed negotiations with the Trail Blazers over McCollum. The deal comes as a bit of a surprise, as the sides are battling it out for a top-10 spot. In addition, it is surprising that Portland, who have ridden waves of success thanks to Dame and CJ, are agreeing to sell him. At least, this is what 15-time All-Star Shaq believes.

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Speaking on NBA TNT, O’Neal spoke about how Portland’s foundation is set to be tarnished. He said, “I always thought the foundation of Portland was CJ and Dame. This era we live in, when you don’t do well, you automatically go to ‘We gotta break em up, we gotta break em up.’ I thought if you’re gonna make a trade, why don’t you make a trade around them?”

PORTLAND, OR – APRIL 3: Maurice Harkless (4) of the Portland Trail Blazers, Damian Lillard (0), CJ McCollum (3) and Enes Kanter (00) head to the bench for a timeout against the Denver Nuggets during the fourth quarter on Friday, May 3, 2019. The Denver Nuggets and the Portland Trailblazers game three of their second round NBA playoff series at the Moda Center in Portland. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Do you think Portland showing CJ McCollum the exit doors is the right call? Sure, his performances of late haven’t been the best; however, they are overlooking a threatening duo that has brought them very far. Regardless, we can only wish CJ the best of luck for his future!

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

653 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is an NBA and Tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, soccer and table tennis. Sankalp idolises Roger Federer and Stephen Curry, and has an inherent love for statistics.

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