2013 NBA Draft – #10: C.J. McCollum
With the 10th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, the Portland Trail Blazers selected Lehigh guard C.J. McCollum.
As trade rumors swirl and surprising picks are being made left and right in this year’s draft, the Blazers decide to take the safe pick again in a four-year player with a pure-scoring guard in McCollum.
While being slightly undersized for the two guard at 6’3”, the position that makes the most sense long-term since he teams up with fellow small-school guard and 2013 Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard, McCollum has a sweet shooting stroke and a natural ability, much like Lillard to create his own shot.
After averaging 23.9 points, 5 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game, McCollum is a natural born leader who spearheaded the famous upset in the 2012 NCAA Tournament against Duke. While it might seem like McCollum is simply a gunner in college, it is much more important to realize the lesser talent around McCollum and consider the tremendous talent who will be playing next to him in Lillard next year when evaluating him as a pro.
McCollum does have to adjust to the speed of the NBA game, as he does not possess the greatest athletic ability or speed. The Blazers’ situation actually fits perfect for McCollum because it allows him to be the lead point guard off the bench, a scoring punch alongside Lillard and a much-needed shot creator that the Blazers lacked last season whenever Lillard came off the floor.
With Wesley Matthews already manning the starting shooting guard position as the defensive leader and Lillard in control of the team as the point guard, there is no pressure on McCollum to be great immediately. More importantly, McCollum will be able to contribute what he does best in a natural sixth man role coming off the bench. Scoring.
While the Blazers still have many needs to address in the off-season such as depth at all positions, a starting big-man and address the rumors of All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge wanting out of Portland, grabbing a natural, seasoned scorer like McCollum certainly addresses a need.