Chad Ford Ranks CJ McCollum Third In Race For Rookie Of The Year
ESPN.com'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), ESPN.com forecasts McCollum
as the rookie fifth most-likely to win Rookie of the Year.