Chad Ford of ESPN.com (Insider) has the Portland Trail Blazers selecting Lehigh guard C.J. McCollum in his latest 2013 NBA Mock Draft. Ford's previous pick for the Blazers, Georgia guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, isn't available this time around, as he goes to the Minnesota Timberwolves at No. 9. Ford also writes that the Blazers could be interested in a potential trade scenario with the Dallas Mavericks, who pick at No. 13.
9 Kentavious Caldwell-Pope -- Minnesota Timberwolves
COLLEGE: Georgia AGE: 20 HT: 6-6 WT: 204 POS: SG
Analysis: New Timberwolves GM Flip Saunders has made no secret of his desire to acquire a shooter on the wing. He already has auditioned several in Minnesota (Caldwell-Pope, Allen Crabbe and Tim Hardaway Jr. worked out for him Thursday) and traveled to Vegas to see Russian Sergey Karasev Friday. I think Caldwell-Pope might have the most upside of any shooter left on the board. I'm hearing the Wolves agree.
10 C.J. McCollum -- Portland Trail Blazers
COLLEGE: Lehigh AGE: 21 HT: 6-3 WT: 197 POS: PG
Analysis: The Blazers would like to continue to add shooters. Enter McCollum. While he commonly gets compared to Damian Lillard, they are different players and could nicely complement each other in the backcourt. I'm also hearing Croatia's Dario Saric is a strong possibility here, too.
13 Dario Saric Dallas Mavericks
COUNTRY: Croatia AGE: 19 HT: 6-10 WT: 223 POS: SF
Analysis: As we reported on the night of the draft lottery, the Mavs are likely to trade this pick at some point in an effort to clear more cap space for a run at Dwight Howard/Chris Paul.
Given NBA rules, Dallas technically can't trade the pick until after the draft, but it can reach a deal in principle before it. Sources say the Mavs have been making calls gauging interest. However, the other option is taking Saric. Dallas can get him off the cap with an agreement from Saric that he won't come to the NBA this season. The Mavs actually love Saric, so it might work for both parties. And even if they trade the pick, Saric appears to be a hot name right now. The Pelicans, Blazers, and Sixers all have significant interest in him as well and might be great trade partners.
Ford recently included McCollum on a list of three players piquing the Blazers' interest, along with Saric and Caldwell-Pope.
Blazers point guard Damian Lillard included McCollum on a list of his three favorite players in this year's class, along with Kentucky big man Nerlens Noel and Kansas guard Ben McLemore.
McCollum was also included in a list of the three best fits for the Blazers by a national analyst.
Lillard has been used as a comparison for McCollum as both spent four years at small schools.
You can read ZiggyTheBeagle's statistical similarity breakdowns of McCollum here.
Check out the following DraftExpress.com videos of McCollum.
The Blazers hold the No. 10 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.
PS Big thanks to DC Blazer in the FanShots.
-- Ben Golliver | email@example.com | Twitter