• The Portland Trail Blazers have had a lackluster offseason
  • Damian Lillard has voiced his frustration about the front office in the past
  • CJ McCollum offers a new way of looking at things regarding their situation in Portland

Future NBA Hall of Famers like LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors make winning the NBA title look easy.

Gather a bunch of the league’s best players to your team and stomp out the opposition with the overwhelming power of the team’s Big Three (or Four, in the case of the 2018 Warriors).

For teams like the Milwaukee Bucks and Portland Trail Blazers, that is not much of an option.

Both teams had to build their way through the draft and acquire talent mostly via trades as few marquee free agents considered joining their teams.

Especially for the Blazers, they have struggled at getting their free-agent targets this year.

Re-signing Norman Powell to a five-year, $90 million extension was their biggest move this offseason, and bringing Ben McLemore, Cody Zeller and Tony Snell onboard were not the moves that Damian Lillard was expecting.

His co-star, CJ McCollum, is feeling the pressure as well.

Speaking with Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, McCollum opened up on the reality of their title chances in Portland and how free agency is going.

“I think whenever we step on the court, we have a chance to win a championship. If you don't have that mindset and that mentality, then you shouldn't play,” said McCollum.

“That's my mindset and mentality every year—to compete at the highest level, to really focus on being the best version of myself as a player to help us win. That being said, I feel like every year we have a chance to win a championship. But in the NBA, there are so many things that go into that. You need a little bit of luck.”

“A lot of luck, timing, health, everything matters. You gotta get breaks at the right time. Scheduling matters. You look at a lot of teams that are favored to win every year, you have to be healthy first of all, or you have no chance.”

McCollum also mentioned later that superstars can only do so much and emphasized just how important role players are in winning.

“I think teams are strategically trying to figure out how to build their roster. You obviously need star power, or a certain level or caliber of player, to compete for a championship, and a lot of teams are trying to go for the $30 million player or the $25 million player, per se,” said the new president of the National Basketball Players’ Association.

“But there's still space on those rosters for role players. You need role players. You need minimum guys who can contribute.”

He then used the Bucks’ Pat Connaughton and Bobby Portis as examples of players who chose winning over getting paid handsomely.

McCollum contrasts them to Paul Millsap, who remains without a team, as an example of a player who has to identify whether he wants the money or to win, while also going to a team that wants him.

The Blazers will have a chance to start their season on a high note as they host the Sacramento Kings at the Moda Center on October 20.