Who the Orlando Magic could target for a trade in the Northwest Division

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Orlando Magic, Evan Fournier, CJ McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers
CJ McCollum and the Portland Trail Blazers torched the Orlando Magic’s defense. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /

Portland Trail Blazers: CJ McCollum

CJ McCollum has made his name as a strong shooter and superb offensive talent. Since his breakout 2016 season, he has averaged more than 20 points per game in each season including 22.2 this year.

He is one of the league’s very best mid-range scorers and is also accomplished from beyond the arc, making 2.8 threes a game this season off 37.9 percent shooting. McCollum is exactly the sort of offensive player that the Magic are calling out for.

He is also versatile and could add some much-needed shooting at both point guard and shooting guard spots if needed. With four years left on his contract, the Magic would be getting one of the league’s best scoring guards for the long-term.

But alongside Damian Lillard in Portland, CJ McCollum is part of one of the league’s deadliest backcourts. He is valued very highly in the northwest and there is a strong chance a trade for him would not be possible.

Portland seems comfortable with where they are at in the Western Conference pecking order and it would take a haul that clearly makes them better to move off this core piece. As much as some pundits think the Blazers have topped off and should break up their high-scoring duo the Blazers as a small market are not likely giving up a duo that has experienced this much success until they have to.

This might be the year that happens, however.

Portland only managed to scrape eighth in the Western Conference. They have plenty of scoring power but have considerable weaknesses on defense and ranked 27th for defensive rating, giving up 114.3 points per 100 possessions.

The Trail Blazers have one of the league’s top 10 players in Damian Lillard but their defensive struggles are holding the team back. There may come a point where they must give up some of their offensive power for better defense.

Aaron Gordon has shown he is a more than capable defender during his time in the league, while Mohamed Bamba has the potential to be one of the league’s elite shot blockers if he can develop. Both could help improve Portland’s defense.

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Both the Magic and the Blazers finished eighth in their respective conferences but have very different weaknesses. It would take a lot for Portland to give up McCollum but this trade could help both teams improve where they need to, while the Trail Blazers would also be getting the chance to develop a new prospect from this year’s draft.