NBA Draft pick #10 - Portland Trail Blazers

Portland takes C.J. McCollum at No. 10

6/27/13 in NBA   |   droth   |   127 respect

The Portland Trail Blazers have selected C.J. McCollum out of Lehigh with the tenth pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.  Nov 09, 2012; Waco, TX, USA; Lehigh Mountain Hawks guard C.J. McCollum (3) dribbles during the game against the Baylor Bears at the Ferrell Center. Baylor won 99-77.  Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Last year the Blazers struck gold in the draft by taking Damien Lillard with the sixth pick and are hoping that McCollum--who has drawn many Lillard comparissons--at No. 10 will be able to contribute right away as well.

The Blazers were rumored to be going after the top pick, but reportedly turned down an offer from Cleveland that would have sent the #1 and #19 picks to the Pacific Northwest in exchange for LaMarcus Aldridge.  Clearly with Aldridge, who is still just 27, and Lillard, Portland thinks they are close to competing for a playoff spot and did not want to begin a new round of rebuilding by shipping away their most established player.

At this point, Lillard and Aldridge are the only Blazers that are locked into the starting lineup.  Batum, J.J. Hickson, and Wesley Matthews are competent players that round out a solid starting five, but adding McCollum will add a complementary guard with many of the same skills as Lillard. 

The 2012-13 Blazers were an average offensive team but a poor defensive team and finished 33-49 as a result.  

They finished near the bottom of the league in both steals and blocks. McCollum is not a defensive stopper but he is a high basketball I.Q. player with a winning attitude.  He is very articulate and reportedly did very well in his interviews.
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