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Mahoney: Thoughts On Blazers G CJ McCollum

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One national writer offers an assessment of Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum at 2013 Las Vegas Summer League.

Mike Stobe

Rob Mahoney of SI.com offers an assessment of Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum at 2013 Las Vegas Summer League.

"Look at guys like Tony Parker, Russell Westbrook," said McCollum, the 10th pick in the June draft. "Those are guys that can get a shot for themselves [and] also get other guys going. That's what the league is kind of trending toward, even with 2-guards that can kind of dominate the ball."

Players like Parker and Westbrook aren't merely the exceptions to the rule, but the tip of the iceberg in a league that has little place for point guards who can't hold their own as scorers. Most every high-level player at the position - from Chris Paul to Derrick Rose to Stephen Curry and well beyond - creates space and angles by projecting as a scorer first and playmaker second, no matter their tendencies. NBA defenses are simply too loaded with rangy wingspans and first-rate athleticism to be picked apart by a playmaker's court vision alone, making a guard's ability to generate offense among the most valuable of potential skills.

"I'm not a fan of guards that can't shoot," McCollum said. "I feel like the more options you have off the bounce and the better you can shoot, the harder it is for a defense to cover you. They can't go under your screens, [and] at the same time they have to respect it - you get a longer hedge and a longer show. So I think the more you can do off the bounce and create for yourself, the easier it is to get others involved."

The Blazers selected McCollum out of Lehigh University with the No. 10 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft back in June.

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