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Measurables: 6-foot-3, 197-pounds senior guard from Lehigh
Key Stats: 23.9 points, 2.9 assists, five rebounds, 1.4 steals per game; shot 49.5 percent from the field and 51.6 percent from 3-point range
Projected: Top-10 pick
- Hickory High similarity score
C.J. McCollum has won the hearts of many avid basketball fans and bloggers on Twitter by answering questions about style of play in a very intelligent manner. This is an exchange between McCollum and Timberwolves fan Patrick Fenelon on Twitter.
Fits with the Pistons because …
The Pistons need a player who can create their own shot, and McCollum is the perfect man for that. Not only was McCollum a great shot creator at Lehigh, he had a true shooting percentage of 63 in his senior year, leading him to be named DraftExpress’ most efficient point guard in the country. A player who shoots a lot while still making shots is a luxury the Pistons don’t have at the moment.
McCollum, who played four seasons of college basketball, seems relatively ready for the NBA. So, Joe Dumars – who might need to make the playoffs this season to keep his job – could draft McCollum and see him join the Pistons’ rotation almost immediately
Doesn’t fit with the Pistons because …
Brandon Knight and Rodney Stuckey are under contract for next season, and adding McCollum as a third combo guard could create even more confusion in the backcourt. McCollum-Knight would make a rather small backcourt, and that’s a pairing of the two most promising players of the three. Jose Calderon could help smooth the backcourt rotation as a true point guard, but it’s unclear whether he’ll re-sign.
McCollum he was the No. 1 offensive option at Lehigh, so he didn’t show his passing abilities often. The Pistons need a guard who can get the ball to Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. McCollum hasn’t proven himself as a bad passer, but it’ll be a risk if the Pistons take him.
From the Experts
In the workout I saw, McCollum showed that he won’t have any issues with the deeper NBA 3-point line. He shot roughly 70 percent from the NBA 3 in drills I saw. He has an effortless stroke. While his 3-point percentages were often inconsistent during his career, it likely has more to do with the quality of shots he got at Lehigh than his stroke.
McCollum has solid defensive fundamentals on the whole, doing a nice job closing out shooters, finding a happy medium when defending the weak side, and seldom giving up on plays. His lack of great physical tools limit him in one-on-one situations against quicker or taller players at either guard position, and he struggles at times fighting through screens, but plays with good intensity for a player asked to do so much on the offensive end.