Pelton: Projection Suggests Blazers G CJ McCollum Is A "Potential Bust"

Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

What do advanced statistics suggest about the potential of Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum?

Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com (Insider) breaks down the 2013 Draft class in hopes of projecting which players will go on to have the best careers. Blazers guard CJ McCollum, who was taken with the No. 10 pick, is included in the "Potential Busts" category along with No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett, Alex Len, Ben McLemore and Otto Porter.

So, which players from the 2013 draft might someday help it escape ignominy? Answering that question required me to study the relationship between individual rookie performance and value going forward. I focused on the next three seasons, the remainder of the rookie contract, and found three predictive variables: Age, performance level (measured by win percentage, the per-minute component of WARP akin to PER) and minutes per game. Together, those three factors explain about half in the variation in average WARP over the following three seasons.

...

CJ McCollum, G, Portland Trail Blazers (0.1 projected WARP)

Because he was a four-year senior who played sparingly as a rookie (again, after the injury that cost him the first two months of the season), McCollum's projection is lowest among lottery picks, and just two first-round picks project worse. McCollum's limited playing time makes it tough to determine whether he can replace Mo Williams should Williams leave as a free agent.

The analysis pegged Giannis Antetokounmpo, Michael Carter-Williams and Trey Burke as the class's best bets.

McCollum, 22, averaged 5.3 points and 1.3 rebounds in 12.5 minutes per game over 38 appearances as a rookie.

McCollum is set to play for the Blazers during Las Vegas Summer League, which begins later this week. The full roster is right here.

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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