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CJ McCollum Pushes for Ahead-of-Schedule Contact Drills

Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum advocated for practice timeline that would allow contact in one-on-one drills prior to the official start of NBA camps.

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Denver Nuggets v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA is set to end its hiatus and resume practices later this month. After looking at the timeline that includes an official start to training camps on June 30, Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum spoke with the NBPA about allowing contact in one-on-one drills prior to the proposed start date.

In a report from The Athletic’s Jason Quick, McCollum’s motivation for earlier-than-scheduled contact is tied to the preparation required for players returning from long injury absences.

“We have players that need to get contact in for the last steps of clearance,” McCollum said. “I don’t want anyone to get injured because of having over 100 days of no games.”

McCollum went on to explain that the union would listen to his idea, but significant concerns do exist when it comes to player safety.

“It’s hard for them to gauge because we aren’t all in a bubble,” McCollum said. “Guys are still going home, coming and going, going to grocery stores, etc. So they are not sure it’s possible to get clearance earlier … until we begin testing. So, I’m still waiting on more confirmation, but it’s looking like no contact or even one-on-one for a bit longer.”

Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins are the two players on the Blazers roster that would clearly benefit from McCollum’s proposal. When asked about the two big men, the former Lehigh standout explained that he is excited to see the tandem take the court.

“I’m happy for Zach and Nurk,” McCollum said. “I know they worked extremely hard to get back and will now have a chance to play and make an immediate impact.”

You can read the full repot from Jason Quick at The Athletic (subscription required).