Portland Trail Blazers: Who should be part of the long-term core?

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images) /

5. CJ McCollum

When CJ McCollum’s contract expires at the end of the 2020-21 season, he will only be 29 years old. McCollum was drafted back in 2013 and has been with the Trail Blazers his entire career. Over the past couple seasons, he’s established himself as an elite scorer and one of the best shooting guards in the league.

Many fans and media members have said the Blazers should trade McCollum because a backcourt of him and Damian Lillard is too small and can’t win when it matters. Well, those two guys proved all those doubters wrong this year. The Blazers should only trade McCollum if he starts to lose faith in the team and demands a trade.

McCollum is a fantastic talent and seems to have a great relationship with the city and the organization. If he stays healthy, consistent and wants to stick around after his contract is up, the Blazers should bring him back in a heartbeat. He probably won’t get the length or the amount of money like the last deal he signed, but they could work out a deal that makes both sides happy.

At the age of 29, he will still have a ton of good basketball in front of him and even as he gets older, McCollum’s elite shooting and scoring ability will allow him to stay around and be a meaningful contributor for years to come.