CJ McCollum is unhappy with the way that one of his fellow NBA guards was treated this offseason.
The Portland Trail Blazers star appeared this week on “The Woj Pod” with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. During the episode, McCollum took a shot at the Miami Heat for their handling of Kendrick Nunn’s free agency. The Heat had extended Nunn a qualifying offer but rescinded it after they were able to land a deal for veteran guard Kyle Lowry. That made Nunn an unrestricted free agent but cap space around the NBA had dwindled by then. Nunn ended up signing a two-year, $10 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers.
“The Kendrick Nunn situation,” said McCollum. “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 seen this happening in the league and [it’s] 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?”
Nunn is fortunate that he ended up with a championship contender on a deal that was slightly better than his one-year, $4.7 million qualifying offer. But we have seen others who do not end up so lucky in those circumstances.
It’s worth noting that McCollum was recently elected as the new president of the NBA Players Association. That means that it is his job to stand up for the players’ best interests in situations like that of Nunn.