Portland’s First Round Pick (10)
The 2013 NBA Draft came and went last night in a spectacle that produced many surprises, the greatest of which was Nerlens Noel falling to the 6th pick after being projected as the first pick. But, as was mentioned countless times leading up to this year’s draft, there were numerous players who could have easily been taken with the No. 1 pick.
The Blazers went into the draft looking to continue stockpiling talent, and they did just that.
With their first pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, at tenth overall, Portland selected:
Name: C.J. McCollum
Position: Shooting Guard/Combo Guard
Weight: 197 lbs.
C.J. McCollum Drafted 10th Overall in the First Round
There’s not much not to like about this pick, save for the fact that McCollum is coming off an injury that he suffered on January 5, 2013.
A standout player during his years at Lehigh, McCollum has had accomplishments on and off the court. Majoring in journalism at Lehigh, McCollum has already established himself as a talented writer who may already have his next career lined up after his time in the NBA.
But, for obvious reasons, McCollum wasn’t drafted by the Blazers for his writing skills.
The first player ever drafted from Lehigh, the 21-year-old did more than enough during his time in college to prove he could be one of the more dangerous guards in the NBA. Not a deadly shooter in terms of top accuracy, McCollum excels in opening up space and taking the quick shots that are sometimes needed.
A little short to be defined as a true shooting guard, he does make up for his height with his physical style of play and ability to drive to the basket when called upon to do so.
His upside obviously playing into why he was drafted so high, McCollum does have a few weaknesses, namely in relation to his size. As mentioned previously, he’s not the biggest guy. McCollum uses his versatility on the court to get by defenders and “trick” them into doing what he wants.
He’ll need to figure out how to play with big guys around him all the time, or else he could be a potential bust.
Another downside to McCollum is that he’s not the best defender, likely leaving him off the court when Damian Lillard is on it. Now, this isn’t a bad situation, but you would like to see your first round picks gel together on the court at the same time without really hindering the team.
Expert Pick Analysis
“Has intelligence and a little bit of toughness. He’s not a true point guard, but he can play a little combo. He gets his own shot a lot for someone who doesn’t look like he’s blowing by people. His foot injury is no concern.”