Mike Richman of The Oregonian/OregonLive is reporting that Portland Trail Blazers combo guard CJ McCollum spent some time working on his point guard skills with legendary ball handler Steve Nash this offseason. Blazers assistant coach Jay Triano is the head coach of the Canadian men's basketball team, while Nash is the General Manager. Additionally, Blazers assistant David Vanterpool has been a member of Triano's staff since earlier this summer.
McCollum spent three days in Toronto working on the court with Steve Nash, a two-time NBA MVP and the General Manager of the Canadian men's basketball team since 2012.
"Working with Steve Nash helped me slow down the game some more, helped me understand pick and rolls and how point guards think," McCollum said. "Having the ability to manipulate guys with your eyes, use you(r) body to hold guys off and then just make the proper reads."
McCollum went on to further discuss what he picked up from Nash:
"Working with him and seeing how he approaches a ball screen, how he approaches his defender in transition," McCollum said of what he gleaned from the future Hall of Famer. "Just simplifying the game."
Most interestingly, McCollum shared his thoughts on how he plans to utilize what he learned within the Blazer's offense.
"For the way we run our offense it's a lot of motion and spots are interchangeable so I don't think it's really a big difference (between point guard and shooting guard)," McCollum said. "It's more about pace and tempo and not over dribbling."
McCollum has shown some promise as a hybrid guard in the past, despite some ups and downs as an actual playmaker. In particular, before his late season breakout, McCollum struggled with over dribbling and creating outside of isolation plays. During the offseason, Blazers GM Neil Olshey has stated that he expects McCollum to spend time at the point guard position.
The Blazers roster, which will need to be trimmed from 17 players down to 15 by the start of the regular season, currently features point guards Damian Lillard, Tim Frazier, Phil Pressey, and PG/SG Luis Montero.
[Hat tip to occassia for posting this first in Fanshots]