2013 NBA Draft: Portland Trail Blazers Make Wise Choice With C.J. McCollum

By John Raffel

The Portland Trail Blazers have selected an excellent player who now must prove he can make it on the NBA level.

By the time the first nine picks had been made, most of the expected players had been selected. Although, perhaps it was not in the order many observers had anticipated.

So it wasn’t a shock that the Blazers picked shooting guard C.J. McCollum from Lehigh with the No. 10 pick in Thursday’s NBA draft.

The big question is where will the Blazers put McCollum with some of the other guard talent they have?

It may take several weeks to get the answer as free agency and trades will further sort out the Blazer roster.

It will be next to impossible for this pick to live up to last year’s number-one Portland pick, Damian Lillard, the 2013 Rookie of the Year. But the Blazers, who have four picks on the board in this draft, would like to think they’ve struck it rich again with No. 10. The Trail Blazers want to bounce back from a 33-49 season in which they lost their last 13 games. How will this pick fix that?

The Blazers were hurt with injuries late last season and need additional talent to shore up their bench.

McCollum was a good pick because he has good credentials and should be able to contribute for the Blazers and eventually be a quality NBA player. He averaged 23.9 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game, and shot 49.5 percent from the floor, 51.6 percent in threes and 84.9 percent in free throws.

But that was while he was with Lehigh. How he adjusts to NBA defenses remains to be seen.


You May Also Like