Most people have the Oklahoma City Thunder drafting a big man with the 12th overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.
Reports have surfaced that the Thunder are also intrigued by C.J. McCollum, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound guard from Lehigh.
While Oklahoma City has mostly been linked to bigs in the draft, a source insists the Thunder are intrigued by McCollum and think he could be an upgrade over Kevin Martin in their system. Other names to watch in the first round with the Thunder are Kelly Olynyk, Steven Adams, Rudy Gobert, Jeff Withey, or Gorgui Dieng as the search for Kendrick Perkins’ eventual replacement.
McCollum was a career 20-point per game scorer in the Patriot League but missed over half of his senior season with an injury.
McCollum is apparently fully recovered from his injury and ever since his draft stock has been rising.
McCollum is seen as a combo guard who isn’t a true point but can really fill it up. Last year in college, he shot 51.6 percent from behind the three-point line and averaged 2.8 makes per game.
It’s hard to imagine that McCollum could be an upgrade over Kevin Martin immediately as a rookie but maybe he could be down the line.
Remember too that to get playing time under Scott Brooks, you need to be extremely committed on the defensive end. Otherwise, as Brooks has proven in recent years, a young player won’t be getting any run.
Many mock drafts have McCollum being selected well before the 12th pick too so if the Thunder are really sold on drafting him, they may have to trade up to do so.
If the Thunder really do like McCollum and don’t like Jeremy Lamb, they could package him together with a few draft picks to move up a few spots.