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Blazers rookie C.J. McCollum will play his first professional game in the D-League

Jan 1, 2014, 8:30 PM EDT

CJ McCollum AP

The Blazers selected C.J. McCollum with the 10th overall pick in this summer’s draft, not necessarily knowing just how good the team’s guard play would be to this point in the season.

Portland, of course, has been one of the year’s biggest surprises, and has a won-loss record that places them among the league’s elite teams — at least for now. They haven’t needed McCollum, which is good since he hasn’t played a minute for the Blazers after breaking a bone in his foot in October.

But he’s at the point in his recovery where he’s been cleared to play, and is expected to make his professional debut in the D-League this weekend with the Idaho Stampede. McCollum was assigned today, and he’ll be available when the team plays home games in Boise on Friday and Saturday, according to a team announcement.

McCollum dazzled in one of the more competitive games at Las Vegas Summer League, and was a dark horse pick by some to compete for Rookie of the Year honors before going down with the injury. Portland’s rotation is crowded at the guard spots, with Damian Lillard and Wesley Matthews playing heavy minutes and Mo Williams providing support off the bench.

There’s no guarantee McCollum will get more than a cursory sniff at some floor time if the winning continues, but it’s nice to have a talented asset on the roster who can be brought along slowly until he’s ready to contribute to what’s become one of the league’s top teams.

  1. norcalkingsfan - Jan 1, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    Oldipo, Carter-Williams, Plumlee, McCallum, Mclemore

    Best rookies in the draft. McCollum will be a baller.

    • biasedhomer - Jan 1, 2014 at 9:46 PM

      Don’t forget Trey Burke, and possibly Nerlens Noel (have to see him on the court first though).

      • money2long - Jan 1, 2014 at 10:19 PM

        precisely. how can one leave out trey!

    • pbtunpaidwriter - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:02 PM

      This kid has game. He has NBA moves and can shoot. Not a true PG though, but should develop into one.

  2. biasedhomer - Jan 1, 2014 at 9:45 PM

    They could use McCollum as trade bait to add to their bench, maybe someone Thad Young.

    • bougin89 - Jan 2, 2014 at 1:24 PM

      It’s not wise to trade rookie contracts if you don’t have to. Talented players on rookie contracts are very valuable.

  3. gquesen - Jan 1, 2014 at 9:49 PM

    Man, I’m excited to see what this kid can provide.

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