Blazers take guard C.J. McCollum with 10th pick
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - The Portland Trail Blazers selected 6-foot-4 guard C.J. McCollum from Lehigh with the 10th pick in the NBA draft Thursday night.
McCollum was an electric scorer during an abbreviated senior season at Lehigh, averaging 23.9 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. McCollum's final college season ended on Jan. 5 with a broken left foot.
McCollum averaged 21.3 points and 6.3 rebounds and shot 38 percent from 3-point range during his four-year Lehigh career. McCollum was named Patriot League player of the year during his freshman and junior seasons. McCollum is the Patriot's all-time scoring leader with 2,361 points.
This is Portland's second consecutive year in the draft lottery. The Blazers used the No. 6 pick in 2012 to take guard Damian Lillard, who went on to become the NBA's Rookie of the Year.
Although McCollum primarily played point guard at Lehigh, he is considered a combo guard. With Lillard established as the Blazers' point guard, shooting guard is likely McCollum's future.
"I'm a basketball player. I played one and two all my life,'' McCollum said. "The situation depends on the roster. I'm comfortable playing off someone running the show. I'd say that I probably will play both positions at some point.''
McCollum said he never worried about his NBA future after fracturing his foot.
"I knew it wasn't a career-ending injury. I had a well-polished resume; had 111 games and started 109. Plenty of film to pull from,'' McCollum said. "I knew I would be back at some point. I was just concerned about my college career being over.''
McCollum said he used social media to reach out to Lillard more than a year ago. The two often talked during his McCollum's senior year, and exchanged several text messages Thursday night.
"I'm looking forward to playing with him. Playing all 82 games as a rookie? That's a great guy to learn from,'' McCollum said.
Portland has three second-round picks.