I wrote about C.J. McCollum’s contact extension:
Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum is a skilled young player still on the upswing. He also happens to be coming off the best season of his young career and forms one of the NBA’s most explosive backcourts with Damian Lillard. McCollum and Lillard aren’t a perfect duo — they aren’t particularly big and have some defensive issues — but you could do a lot worse than to build around them.
Through that lens, McCollum’s four-year, $106 million extension makes a ton of sense.
But the Blazers’ other moves this summer cloud the value of the decision to lock up McCollum. Portland isn’t far removed from giving Evan Turner $70 million over four years and even less removed from matching the four-year, $75 million offer sheet Allen Crabbe signed with the Brooklyn Nets. In the span of just a few weeks, Portland has committed $251 million over the next four years to three guys who kind of play the same position. There are some differences in how they operate — McCollum is more of a scorer, Crabbe a gunner and Turner something of a distributor — but they all sort of play the same few spots. Portland can’t just shift McCollum over to point guard in the starting lineup, either, because Lillard owns that position.
From a purely basketball standpoint, having these four guys to build around isn’t perfect. Turner can and will play some three — he spent 67 percent of his minutes there in Boston — but what he does best isn’t what Portland necessarily needs from that position because Turner isn’t a great off-ball player and he needs his touches. To accommodate that, McCollum and/or Lillard will have to make sacrifices.