Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sixers should consider Lehigh guard C.J McCollum if available

Even though they need some size, the Sixers should strongly consider Lehigh's C.J. McCollum if he is available.

Sixers should consider Lehigh guard C.J McCollum if available

Even though they need some size, the Sixers should strongly consider Lehigh’s C.J. McCollum if he is available. (Joe Mahoney/The Richmond Times-Dispatch/AP)
Even though they need some size, the Sixers should strongly consider Lehigh’s C.J. McCollum if he is available. (Joe Mahoney/The Richmond Times-Dispatch/AP)

The Sixers desperately need some size, an issue that will only expand if Andrew Bynum is not re-signed this summer. The team is without a legitimate low-post option, and considering the Sixers’ struggles on the offensive end this past season, it is an issue that desperately needs to be addressed.

However with that being said, the Sixers should still strongly consider Lehigh guard C.J. McCollum if he is available.

Coming off of an injury-shortened senior season and a college career largely lacking big conference competition, McCollum is a question mark, but one with a high potential to pay off.

McCollum has shown that he can put up points, averaging over 21 points per game over his final three collegiate seasons, while twice being named the Patriot League Player of the Year (2010 & 2012). He was also a two-time AP All-American Honorable Mention and probably would have been a lottery pick had he declared for the draft last summer.

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In addition to having excellent anticipation (McCollum was top 5 in steals in 2011), he also improved upon his shooting percentage each season, and while his assist numbers weren’t eye-popping, he proved capable of running an offense.

However, despite his obvious attributes, some still label McCollum as the draft’s most intriguing mystery, due to his lack of a clear-cut professional position and the caliber of his college opponents.

Will he be able to play point guard in the NBA, or should he be used as a shooting guard because of his scoring mentality?

Can he have the same type of point production against the NBA’s elite that he did against some small-school college kids?

The questions exist, but are the Sixers in any sort of position to ignore any affirming answers?

If he is able to translate his game to the professional level, McCollum has the opportunity to be an all-star caliber scorer, which is something the Sixers have been searching for.

Similar questions existed last summer about Damian Lillard, and the way he responded this season should say something to the Sixers.

There are those that say that Jrue Holiday is better equipped to play off the ball as well, and in that case Holiday and McCollum could complement each other. Although undersized, the two together could form a formidable backcourt and spearhead an explosive offense.

Drafting a post player would seem to make the most sense, however this draft isn’t the deepest, and assuming Cody Zeller and Norlens Noel are gone by the Sixers selection, the team should at least consider McCollum; a small-school combo guard with a big upside.

Michael Kaskey-Blomain Assistant Sports Producer
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