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Former Blazer Feels Portland Still Needs to Sure up Their Front Court

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C.J McCollum and Damian Lillard signed massive extensions this off-season with the Portland Trailblazers. After making their first appearance in the Western Conference Final in 19 years. Unfortunately, the Blazers would come up short as the Golden State Warriors swept them.

“Each year we’ve come back with the right attitude,” Lillard said after the season ended. “We’ve been able to stick together through a lot of adversity and I think just what we’ve hung our hats on, what we’ve believed in, our culture, the togetherness, we’ve been able to truly build on that. And I think we should be encouraged.”

On June 30th, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Damian Lillard and the Blazers were working towards a deal worth $196 million over four years. Lillard was still under contract until the 2020-21 season after signing a five-year deal in 2015.

Later that day, ESPN’s  Brian Windhorst would report that Lillard and the Blazers had agreed to a deal, that included a player option worth $54.3 million in the final year of the agreement.

That same day, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that C.J.McCollum and the Blazers agreed to a three-year extension that would keep McCollum in Portland until the 2023-24 season. McCollum averaged 21 points last season for the Blazers on 45.9% from the field and 37.5% from behind the arc.

Meanwhile, Damian Lillard was named to the All-NBA Second Team, and this is the fourth straight season that he has been selected to an All NBA team. Lillard joins Clyde Drexler as the only Blazers players to be named to an All-NBA team four-time. He also becomes the seventh Blazer to be named in the All-NBA team joining  Bill Walton, Maurice Lucas, Jim Paxson, Drexler, Brandon Roy, and LaMarcus Aldridge.

Speaking of Drexler, during a recent interview in Dallas, the former Blazer was asked about C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard growing as a tandem.

“I think they have been growing for a  few years and things are good for them. They just have to sure up their frontcourt and maybe win a few games.”

Earlier this summer, former Blazers guard Bonzi Wells weighed in on both Lillard and McCollum’s games.

“Them two boys are killers. I love C.J.’s game because he complements Dame’s game. It is like Yin and Yang and they complement each other’s game very well. CJ is very smooth and a great shooter and has a deceptive handled, that people don’t really understand. He gets to his spot well and that is just his game. It’s awesome and when you think about a guy like Dame. What he is doing in the playoffs is unheard of especially in a Blazers’ uniform,“ Bonzi Wells told me.

“He is doing things that we thought we had some good players and guys who came through there, but Dame is taking it to another level. When I see that crowd, it gives me chills because I remember the days that we use to rock it and that is what it is all about. I know the buzz in Portland is crazy and that is thanks to Dame, C.J. McCollum, and the rest of the crew“.

Damian Lillard averaged 25.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, a career-high 6.9 assists, 1.1 steals and 35.5 minutes this past season.

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