It’s usually not that great of an idea to put too high of expectations on an NBA rookie, but the Portland Trail Blazers, they got great stuff from Damian Lillard last season on his way to Rookie of the Year honors. He probably even exceeded expectations.
So what should the Trail Blazers expect from C.J. MCollum, their No. 10 overall pick from last week’s draft?
Actually, perhaps the Blazers should plan on having McCollum as a starter. Many rookies come off the bench for several weeks and then enter the starting lineup. McCollum could have the chance to start provided he has an excellent summer and a good preseason. If he does, he just might sneak into the starting lineup.
The Trail Blazers started a lot of rookies late in the season for 2012-13. Of course, most of that was by necessity, but McCollum has the skills to be a starter and he fits a need for the Blazers with his good outside shooting.
He averaged 21.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.05 steals and 32.9 minutes in 111 games over four seasons at Lehigh. He was a two-time Patriot League Player of the Year, and is the all-time scoring leader in league history with 2,361 career points.
He has the skills to be a starter. So for now, the Trail Blazers should give it serious thought especially as the new NBA season gets closer to starting. McCollum will have to earn the job, of course, but he needs to get the chance to earn it.