CJ McCollum showed off his abilities in front of a national audience in last year’s NBA Playoffs, demonstrating his elite shot-creating and -making. McCollum finds himself at No. 13 in ESPN’s rankings of the best 100 players this season, up from No. 30 last year:
One big question: Is McCollum ready to step up as a co-headliner with Damian Lillard for an entire season? McCollum has long been the secondary scoring Robin to Damian Lillard’s Batman for the Trail Blazers. The past two seasons, McCollum averaged 21.2 PPG in the regular season versus Lillard’s 26.3. However, that story changed during the past two playoffs, with McCollum upping his scoring to 24.8 PPG versus Lillard’s 25.2 PPG. If McCollum can maintain that raised level of shotmaking throughout the season, it would ease the load on Lillard and help Portland challenge for the top spot in the West.
You can find the entire list up to No. 11 here.