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ESPN.com: McCollum Poised for Breakout

by Cody Sharrett

The dust has nearly settled from a busy free agency period, and many national media are already beginning to look ahead to the 2015-16 season with just a few short months left until opening tip. In ESPN.com's Biggest Risers, Fallers in '15-16, writers J.A. Adande, Ian Begley, Kevin Pelton, Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst look at teams' changing personnel this summer and the ripple effects across the league.

Though the majority note the Portland Trail Blazers will have ground to make up following the departures of LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Matthews, Robin Lopez, Nicolas Batum and Arron Afflalo, Pelton predicts that third-year guard CJ McCollum could emerge as a breakout star in Rip City:

"Given the aforementioned personnel losses in Portland, someone is going to have to step up. There's no better candidate than McCollum, who averaged 15.6 PPG in April and improved that mark to 17 per game in the Blazers' playoff loss to the Memphis Grizzlies."

McCollum enters next season with career averages of 6.3 points, 0.9 assists and 1.4 rebounds per game. The Lehigh product shoots 38% from three-point range for his career, and a 33-point outburst in Game Five against Memphis in the first round of the playoffs bodes well for McCollum's future replacing Matthews' 15.9 ppg and Afflalo's 10.6 ppg last season at the two-guard position in Portland.

Read the entire article on ESPN.com.

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