Aug 14

Chad Ford Ranks CJ McCollum Third In Race For Rookie Of The Year

By caseyholdahl's Chad Ford handicapped the not-yet-started race for the 2014 NBA Rookie of the Year today, ranking Trail Blazers rookie guard CJ McCollum third behind Orlando's Victor Oladipo and Cleveland's Anthony Bennett ...
The case for McCollum: As I mentioned, ROY voters love scoring, and McCollum is the most polished scorer in the draft. He shined in summer league and proved that he has the basketball IQ to play at an elite level from day one.

The case against McCollum: Before the Blazers signed Mo Williams, McCollum was my favorite to win the award. However, I now wonder whether he'll get the minutes he needs to bring it home. With Williams, Lillard (who can play both the 1 and 2) and Wesley Matthews also looking for big minutes, McCollum might not get the touches he needs to win the award.
I share Ford's concerns. Before the somewhat surprise signing of Mo Williams, I thought McCollum might have even been the favorite to win Rookie of the Year. But the addition of Williams almost ensures that McCollum will get nearly all of his minutes backing up Wesley Matthews at shooting guard, and even those minutes aren't guaranteed.

Without those backup point guard minutes, I have a hard time seeing McCollum being on the floor enough to put up the numbers you need to win the vote. Then again, maybe CJ will be the guy this year who puts up great advanced stats in limited minutes and who the analytics crowd will subsequently argue deserves the award. We should be on that side of the argument, for once.

And for what it's worth (and from what I've seen so far, it's not worth much), forecasts McCollum as the rookie fifth most-likely to win Rookie of the Year.


  1. Honestly - the ROY race this year should be pretty low on our list of priorities. How many teams have back-to-back ROY winners? Ideally, if you have a ROY, your team was good enough NOT to get a pick the following year that will end up winning the award next year. While I like McCollum and think it was a great pick, I'm kind of glad we don't have to lean on him and play him the kind of minutes that would help his ROY campaign. Signing Williams gives McCollum the time to better learn the PG position at the NBA level, and lets him focus on what he does well right now which is shoot and score.

    by Brett Fish on 8/14/2013 11:13 AM
  2. The Williams signing will definitely take some minutes away from CJ but I'm not concerned about it. I think he'll do better playing solely as a 2-Guard and while he might get fewer shots, those shots will hopefully be more effective than if he was taking a large number of shots as the focal point of the offense. He did lead the summer league in scoring, but keep in mind who he was playing with. He'll have a lot more talent alongside him during the season and he won't be the top option like he was at Vegas.

    by chris.barnes on 8/14/2013 11:15 AM
  3. HAHA, a ROY candidate not getting enough minutes? Thats a GREAT thing, because we have a bench now!

    by coltonjg1998 on 8/14/2013 12:34 PM
  4. @Brett Fish: I do agree with you. I think McCollum will get his minutes, as I feel Williams and DLill will play quite a few minutes together. That is because IMO, many teams has learned by cutting off DLill you beat the Blazers; as Wesley isn't terrific with his handles and not an accomplished playmaker, Williams can stop the Blitzing. Although, I have read the concern of the D suffering when Williams is in the game in place of Wesley, that is also true with McCullum also.

    Besides all that, I look for Stotts to go small ball much of the time with a fast pace, that requires many efficient guards and small forwards.

    Barton is the one I feel will be left out of the equation as a regular in the rotation.

    Of course the season hasn't started, no injuries yet and we are tied for first place with 29 other teams. Don't forget the joy of the season is to see how we can grow as a team and compete with other teams, which takes many schemes and match-ups; therefore regardless of who gets ROY, who gets minutes, who becomes our sixth man, they will all be competing against the other teams and each other

    Our bench is better coitonJG, but lets hope our D has improved and our rim protection is better. So far other than Matthews our perimeter D looks spooky and as Dave says, on BE, Lopez will have a troop of guards charging at him like a swarm of bees.

    Not to paint a grim picture, DLill has dedicated himself to D and maybe the rest can buy in, all in all I am looking for big improvement this year because we were not bad last year until our players shot bb until they dropped.

    Sorry about the speech, I tend to get carried away at times, but if McCullum wants to compete for ROY he will have to work at it.

    by Hg on 8/14/2013 1:42 PM
  5. Last time the blazers won back to back ROY awards they went on to win a championship. Hoping Lillard and CJ are the next Petrie & Wicks

    by Jisaach3 on 8/14/2013 2:48 PM
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