Jul 05

Pelton: Acquiring McCollum, Crabbe Doesn't Mean Matthews Will Be Traded

By caseyholdahl

Plenty going on in the NBA right now, almost none of it which NBA employees are allowed to discuss until the July moratorium ends at the stroke of midnight on July 10. At least we got to enjoy the Fourth of July holiday without fear of news breaking.

But we are currently allowed to talk about the rookies we drafted (or traded for during the draft) and players who are currently under contract, which is why I can pass along this item from Kevin Pelton over at regarding the likelihood of Wesley Matthews being traded after the Trail Blazers acquired guards CJ McCollum and Allen Crabbe during the 2013 Draft.
Josh (Oregon)
You think there is a chance portland would try and trade Wes Matthews after drafting Mccollum and Crabbe to the same position. What do you think they got get in return?

Kevin Pelton  (2:11 PM)
I don't think it's likely. For one, we're not even sure McCollum is better at shooting guard yet.
Matthews has started 191 games for the Trail Blazers over the last three seasons, so I agree with Pelton that there's no reason to believe either McCollum or Crabbe are going to come in and immediately supplant Matthews in the lineup, let alone assume the Trail Blazers would trade Matthews solely to make way for younger players.

While I think it's perfectly acceptable to be excited about what both McCollum and Crabbe bring to the Trail Blazers, assuming that either are ready to step in and provide what Matthews does, both on and off the court, shortchanges just how good Matthews is and discounts the disparity between the NCAA and NBA when it comes talent level. We were spoiled last season by the quickness with which Damian Lillard adjusted to the NBA. Let's not assume it's going to necessarily be that way for other rookies, especially McCollum.


  1. If CJ was so talented and were to supplant Matthews, he would have to be a borderline superstar. Wes is such a hard working player that scraps and plays incredible defense. I find it VERY unlikely that CJ would ever start ahead of Wes this year. Crabbe? That would be like seeing lightning strike the Portlandia statue four times in a row on a cloudless day. Near impossible.

    Surprise me, though. I dare them. :)

    by Jeffery Phillips on 7/5/2013 12:06 PM
  2. I worry not about replacement or helping out; as we are between a rock and a hard place when it comes to depth, and if they were truly team orientated, to me you would start whichever fit the need according to talent and decoying the opponents D. It will take all the rotation players to win regardless of who starts.

    by Hg on 7/5/2013 3:17 PM
  3. After the last couple of drafts I'm careful about putting too many expectations on the rookies this season. Good news is that last years rookies should be better this season. Damian Lillard's don't come around very often and I'm sure CJ will develop fairly quickly but he's not Wes Mathews by any stretch at this point. People also forget what our team was like at last years start with a healthy Wes and Nic that weren't injured. I think Wes and Nic will have statement seasons this year. We just got a commitment for 2 years from Dorrell Wright so with TRob, Lopez and Wright we have upgraded our bench for sure.

    by riverman on 7/6/2013 10:54 AM
  4. I started a RUMOR, now that Houston has Howard, and Asik wants out, we will bundle Lopez and change to acquire Asik.

    Is that a possibility?

    by Hg on 7/6/2013 12:24 PM
  5. possible hg, but i wouldn't get my hopes too high. NO really wants asik and is reportedly offering ryan anderson and houston's weakest position is pf.

    by The Unholy on 7/6/2013 3:54 PM
  6. McCollum seems great and I'm excited to have him, but he's going to be starting out in a very limited role. If Matthews or Lillard gets hurt he'll play big minutes but other than that he'll play backup to both of them. If he plays really well then maybe he could start to take some of Matthews' minutes. Matthew is pretty good, but by no means is he on the same level as Lillard or Lamarcus. I think McCollum has a shot in a year or two to replace Matthews. But no until he proves himself.

    by chris.barnes on 7/10/2013 11:35 AM
  7. @Chris Barnes:

    I don't believe CJ at the moment was planned to take Matthews spot or Lillard, as you said more as a back up, but I do believe he will get plenty of time playing with Lillard, when teams tries to cut the head off the snake, we will have a two headed snake; All the teams BLITZED Lillard last year and slowed him down, or at least our offense down. with CJ that would make it hard to do as he can make plays and handle the ball better than Matthews.

    I also believe the Blazers will use him when we go small putting Matthews at the three, and Nico at the four; Also, IMO, we will be going fast ball and open court, so all the players can take short breathers, so they don't have to pace themselves so much.

    by Hg on 7/10/2013 12:00 PM
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