Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum raised some eyebrows this week when he called out ‘manipulation’ as it pertains to the Los Angeles Lakers’ most recent signing.
Specifically, McCollum seems to have taken issue with how LA ended up getting Kendrick Nunn.
A few weeks ago the Miami Heat, with whom Nunn spent two years, presented him with a qualifying offer. Unfortunately, when the 26-year-old didn’t jump at the opportunity, the deal got pulled.
By the time Miami yanked the qualifying offer, however, the market for guards had dried up a bit.
This forced Nunn into a two-year, $10 million contract with the Lakers when most expected him to sign a more lucrative contract heading into free agency.
During a recent conversation with Adrian Wojnarowski on “The Woj Pod” podcast, McCollum called out how the Nunn situation was handled.
“The Kendrick Nunn situation,” McCollum said.
“He was gonna be a free agent. They basically waited until the money dried up, right? You correct me if I’m wrong. Have you (Wojnarowski) seen this happening in the league and not being discussed at all? Where they talk about players forcing their way out, player movement. But then what about the manipulation that goes into some of these situations where teams are waiting for the market to dry up before they release a player’s rights.”
LaMelo Ball emerges as an early frontrunner for the 2021-22 NBA MVP Award. https://t.co/sSeA2JNkAf
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It’s hard to argue with McCollum’s larger point. Between the Dwight Howard-Lakers debacle last year and the shady way the Golden State Warriors lied to LaMelo Ball – it feels like organizations often have a free reign to mess with players in a way that is very unseemly.
That being said, players have a lot of leverage too. And they often also wield it in unpleasant ways. Between James Harden’s recent antics and Damian Lillard’s increasingly annoyed displays, it’s clear neither side is above using their power in ways that help them and hurt others.