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After spending the entirety of his career with the Trail Blazers, McCollum found himself on the trade block last season with them floundering without the injured Damian Lillard. He was ultimately dealt, landing with an up-and-coming young team in the Pelicans. He thrived with his new squad, averaging 24.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.3 steals and 2.7 three-pointers per game. His most noteworthy difference with New Orleans was him shooting 49.3 percent from the field, compared to 43.6 percent over 36 games with Portland. Now with a full offseason to build relationships with his new teammates, McCollum will be tasked with helping the Pelicans make a playoff run. One big difference, though, will be that he should be playing alongside a healthy Zion Williamson, who sat out all of last season. It's possible that Williamson's return could result in a decline in points and assists for McCollum, but he's still a reliable guard option in fantasy who can contribute in multiple areas. Playing alongside Lillard, he had six straight seasons in which he averaged at least 20.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists.
A broken foot limited McCollum to 47 games last season, but he was excellent when available. He put together his best per-game fantasy production (rank 42) since 2016-17 (29). In 34.0 minutes, the shooting guard averaged 23.1 points, 4.7 assists (both career highs) and 3.9 rebounds. He also made a career-high 3.6 triples per game, though it came at the cost of decreased attempts at the rim, which isn't necessarily a good thing. Regardless, Portland's No. 2 option continues to put together great seasons in his prime and is one of the best never-been-an-All-Star players of the last decade. Heading into 2021-22, fantasy managers have reason to draft McCollum marginally higher than usual. The Damian Lillard trade rumors are flying, and if he's eventually dealt, it would likely open up more usage for McCollum. Even if it's McCollum, himself, who gets traded, he could land in a spot where he's given more reign as a playmaker. And if nothing happens and the Blazers stay intact, McCollum could still be worth a fourth-round pick in most fantasy leagues. His floor is extremely high, and last year was an anomaly, from a health perspective. In each season from 2015-16 through 2019-20, McCollum appeared in at least 70 games.
The 2019-20 season was business as usual for one half of Portland's dynamic backcourt duo. McCollum averaged at least 20 points for the fifth straight season, posting the second-highest scoring average of his career (22.2). The Lehigh product shot 45.1 percent from the floor, 75.7 from the free-throw line and 37.9 from three. McCollum has been one of the most consistent and durable guards in the NBA over the last four seasons, posting similar numbers year-in and year-out and appearing in at least 70 games for five straight campaigns. In that span, McCollum has averaged no fewer than 20.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.3 threes in every season, shooting effectively from three and coming up big when needed most. He provided some huge scoring totals, though his upside in that department is capped because he shares the backcourt with Damian Lillard. Still, there aren't many surprises when drafting McCollum, as he provides steady production and the occasional big day. He'll likely be selected among the top-60 players in most fantasy drafts this season.
McCollum's per-game averages dipped, albeit only slightly, across several categories in 2018-19. In fact, he managed his lowest assists (3.0), steals (0.8) and minutes (33.9) averages since he was a sophomore back in 2014-15 and posted his lowest scoring average (21.0) since his first year as a full-time starter (2015-16). McCollum also failed to appear in at least 80 games for the first time since his sophomore year. With that being said, he stepped up per usual in the playoffs when afforded a heavier dose of playing time, helping lead the Trail Blazers to the Western Conference Finals. Dealing Evan Turner for Kent Bazemore this offseason replaces a ball-dominant point forward with a low-usage and complementary veteran wing who capably spaces the floor from beyond the arc, perhaps opening up more opportunities for McCollum to initiate the offense, and thus increase his production in the points and dimes departments. Even if Portland is able to keep McCollum's minutes in check during the regular season once again, which may not be a given due to the Western Conference's incredible depth of potential playoff contenders, the soon-to-be 28-year-old combo guard is likely entering the prime of his career and remains an excellent option across all fantasy formats.
McCollum’s offensive metrics actually saw a slight downturn last season, although his numbers still rendered him a top-10 option at shooting guard in Fantasy circles. The 2013 first-round pick averaged 21.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.0 steal across 36.1 minutes over 81 games, shooting 44.3 percent from the field, including 39.7 percent from distance. He also encouragingly took a career-high 18.6 shot attempts per contest, helping lead to a robust 26.5 percent usage rate. With the Blazers projected to likely return the same starting five, there’s little doubt that the Portland offense should largely run through the backcourt once again this season. That should leave McCollum poised for another large workload, one that’s helped him generate near-elite numbers out of the two-guard spot over the last three campaigns. Moreover, at least a slight improvement on a free-throw rate that dropped from 2016-17’s 91.2 percent to 83.6 percent last season would bump McCollum’s value up another notch.
In his second full season as Portland's starting shooting guard and complement to superstar Damian Lillard in the backcourt, McCollum continued to show why the Trail Blazers gave him a four-year, $106 million extension on his rookie contract. While the team as a whole didn't perform up to expectations and were sent packing in the first round of the NBA playoffs, McCollum provided some optimism for the future by further sharpening his already stellar shooting stroke. After going 44.8 percent from the floor and 41.7 percent from the three-point line during the 2015-16 campaign, McCollum significantly improved from the field with an impressive 48 percent clip, while also showing a slight improvement in his deep ball at 42.1 percent. That translated to a career-high 23.0 points per game, which he supplemented with 3.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.3 three-pointers across 35.0 minutes. With the shooting guard position usually lacking in terms of high upside Fantasy targets, McCollum should once again be a top option looking ahead. He's well documented for his contributions in both the scoring and three-pointers made categories, but McCollum is still solid elsewhere in terms of his boards and assists, especially in comparison to other shooting guards across the league. Locked into a mid-30's workload, the 25-year-old McCollum should have every opportunity to improve on his numbers yet again in 2017-18, which is only further strengthened by the fact that the Trail Blazers didn't bring in any other big name free agents during the offseason.
Following a huge showing in the 2015 NBA Playoffs, McCollum’s production was expected to take a quantum leap in 2015-16 while he displaced the departed Wesley Matthews as the Blazers’ starting shooting guard. The 2013 lottery pick somehow ended up being even better than advertised, churning out averages of 20.8 points (on 44.8% shooting from the field), 4.3 assists, 3.2 rebounds, 2.5 three-pointers and 1.2 steals across 34.8 minutes per game in 80 appearances en route to claiming NBA Most Improved Player honors. McCollum formed a lethal backcourt combination with star point guard Damian Lillard, with his elite 41.7 percent mark from three-point range and top-shelf playmaking skills allowing him to capably pick up the slack when Lillard struggled or missed time due to injury. He’ll probably need to elevate his impact in the defensive categories in order to turn into a true two-way fantasy stud, but McCollum’s overwhelming contributions in terms of points and three-pointers are good enough to make him a safe early-round fantasy selection. After signing McCollum to a four-year, $106 million contract extension in July, the Trail Blazers clearly don’t view the 25-year-old as a flash in the pan, and neither should fantasy owners.
In his second NBA season, McCollum was again afflicted by injury, suffering a fractured right index finger on Nov. 17 that wiped 14 games from the slate. Upon his return, minutes were difficult to come by and all but dried up when Arron Afflalo was acquired at the trade deadline. However, McCollum's late-season resurgence was spurred by Wesley Matthews' torn Achilles on Mar. 5, after which he played a vital role for the next 21 games, averaging 10.9 points (on 48 percent shooting), 2.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.1 three-pointers, and 1.0 steal in 22 minutes. When Afflalo has hindered by a sore shoulder in the postseason, McCollum was further pushed into the spotlight, displaying dynamic scoring acumen with at least 18 points and multiple three-pointers in each of the Blazers' final three playoff contests against the Grizzlies. Before Matthews bolted to the Mavericks in free agency, Blazers general manager Neil Olshey dealt fellow veteran wing Nicolas Batum to Charlotte for shooting guard Gerald Henderson, who started 262 of his final 280 games with the Bobcats. With a contingency plan in place in case Matthews opted for a change, Henderson was seemingly in line to begin the upcoming campaign in the starting five, but offseason hip surgery put a potential damper on that projection. Boosting McCollum's own cause was a vote of confidence from Olshey, who mentioned the third-year pro alongside Damian Lillard as the foundation of the Blazers' backcourt. If the preceding comes to pass, McCollum would be worthy of a late-round flier in standard formats.
The Blazers' first-round pick from the 2013 NBA Draft, CJ McCollum's rookie season got off to a bumpy start after he broke the fifth metatarsal in his left foot early in training camp. His NBA debut was pushed back to Jan. 8, after which he logged time in 38 of the Blazers' final 47 contests. Outside of scoring, his production was mostly unremarkable - 5.3 points (on 42-percent shooting), 1.3 rebounds, 0.8 three-pointers, and 0.7 assists in 13 minutes per game - but the exchange of Mo Williams for Steve Blake in free agency could provide McCollum with a more direct path to act as Damian Lillard's primary backup. During his second dose of the Las Vegas Summer League in July, McCollum again showed off his scoring prowess, averaging 20.2 points and 2.0 three-pointers in 33 minutes per game. However, since facilitating isn't really his thing, with 10 total dimes through five contests, McCollum may be asked to play off the ball when on the court once the upcoming season commences.
After striking gold with their first-round selection of Damian Lillard out of tiny Weber State last season, the Blazers went back to the small-college pool to nab another guard in this summer's draft, choosing McCollum out of Lehigh. Despite his small-school credentials, McCollum came up big time for the Blazers in the Las Vegas Summer League, averaging 21.0 points and 3.4 assists per game, though it came on a less-than-stellar 37 percent shooting mark from the field. Still, the performance demonstrated McCollum's capabilities as a dynamic scorer, a role the Blazers envision him filling during the regular season as their sixth man. Bench scoring was a major weakness for the Blazers last season and often resulted in bloated minute totals for Damian Lillard and Wesley Matthews, so if McCollum continues to transition well to the increased level of competition, coach Terry Stotts should hand him plenty of playing time to keep the starters fresh. Though he should see most of his action at shooting guard, the Blazers plan to give him some time running the point as well, which would provide more opportunities to gather assists.