Portland Trail Blazers G CJ McCollum will return to the lineup for Tuesday’s game vs. the New Orleans Pelicans. McCollum has been sidelined since January 16 due to a foot injury. He has only played in 13 games this season, averaging 26.7 points and 5.0 assists. McCollum had to undergo surgery for a fractured foot.
Update: McCollum is expected to be on a minutes limit in his first game back after the fractured foot. So he isn’t really a viable play on DraftKings given the $7K+ price tag. This should mean we can still find some value in Gary Trent Jr. and Dame in a great matchup vs. the Pels.
With McCollum sidelined, the Trail Blazers have been able to hang tough in the Western Conference. The Blazers are 22-16 and in the 6-seed in the West entering play Monday. Jusuf Nurkic has also been sidelined since January and could take a few more weeks to return to the lineup. With McCollum out, the Blazers had been starting young G Gary Trent Jr. Trent has started 23 games this season and is averaging 15.4 points per game on 40.4 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
We don’t know if McCollum will return to the starting lineup. Chances are he will, but coach Terry Stotts could have CJ on a minutes restriction in his first game back. So with that in mind, we can still project Damian Lillard and Trent to get plenty of usage despite McCollum back in the lineup. If you had Trent in fantasy basketball season-long, there’s still value in holding onto him for now. We’ll see how the rotation works with McCollum back.
This doesn’t have too much impact on any futures odds in any markets. Portland is a long-shot to come out of the West at +3000. If you think CJ and Nurk being back will push the Blazers over the edge, getting them at 30/1 to advance to the Finals is a decent number. It would be shocking to see the Blazers come back and steal the Northwest Division from the Utah Jazz (28-10). Portland is only 6.0 games out of first in the division, though. That line is 50/1 for the Blazers.