Welcome Razzball Nation to our weekly dive into a player who is performing below expectations and with scope to bounce back. That is the key here folks, as it is not enough to just be playing poorly because let’s face it, the NBA has a lot of those types of players. The difference is that not all players who play poorly have a pathway towards increased production or a history of higher-level production leading us to believe they will be better. Essentially, do you believe said player will be better and if so, we highlight those types of players here and attempt to be strategic in how you may be able to pry that player away from their current team.

So,

“Hey Mr. CJ,

You can get this started,

Everybody’s ready to party, all night, all night”.

CJ McCollum

Over the past several seasons, some may argue that the face of top 50 value is none other than CJ McCollum. Much like how Jerry West is the logo for NBA basketball, CJ is the logo for reliable production over the years. Baked into that has been some injuries which have derailed production from time to time but when healthy, he brings a balanced scorer to your team who seems to not really hurt you anywhere.

One category that has fluctuated for reasons I cannot begin to explain is his free throw percentage, which has littered the spectrum from the sixties to the eighty’s percentile over his career. This season, we have seen him settle in at 80% from the line on a paltry 1.8 attempts. Assists are up to 6.0 from 5.1 last season when he split time began in Portland before being traded to New Orleans at the deadline. Scoring is down from 22.1 per game to 17.4, but the biggest crater in his value has been the field goal percentage.

I feel that I must warn you that this next part is not pretty and if you have a weak stomach stop reading right now.

On the season, CJ is shooting 39.8% from the field on a whopping 17.2 attempts. If that was not bad enough, over the last week since returning from a bout with Covid, CJ is shooting 22.7% from the field and is the 292nd ranked player in fantasy. It is as if he has begun shooting with his eyes closed and his back to the basket. The result has produced 6.0 points and 0.5 threes per contest for Mr. McCollum, who last year finished the season as the 52nd ranked player in fantasy.

Therefore, what we know is his shooting will improve resulting in increased points, FG and threes, bringing his value way up. The fact that CJ wasn’t shooting great even prior to his recent time away due to illness will work in your favour as you attempt to buy low on him, as his current GM may feel that this is now par for the course rather than an extended outlier.

This Pelican team is still trying to find their rhythm playing together as they have not had many games at full strength. There are bound to be some growing pains, which we are witnessing as he tries to find his spot in the offense with Zion on the floor, which was not the case when he arrived mid-season last year.

If you have a top 80 player you are willing to part with, I would make the swap. With Chris Paul still sidelined I would be trying to sell Cam Payne or perhaps you could flip him for CJ if you can convince them that Paul’s absence may be extended even further.

The value for CJ is kissing the basement floor so it may never be lower than it is right now. Fire out some offers and reap benefits later.

Hit me up in the comments section with your thoughts and opinions and good luck out there as always,

Peace

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PattyMillsIsMyHomeboy
PattyMillsIsMyHomeboy
1 month ago

Thanks for the write up man. I’m already struggling in FG with FVV sinking me every week at the moment. Would you swing Jalen Green for CJ in hope of a bounce back? I feel like both guys should get better but CJ has higher ceiling?

Joe Bernard
Joe Bernard
1 month ago

Thanks for your comment.
I like the idea of trading Green for Cj.
I do believe that CJ has nowhere to go but up from this point and I like his rest of season outlook once he gets his shot corrected. I think he has a higher fg upside than green.
If you could pull that off I would do it.
Good luck.

Eddie K
Eddie K
1 month ago

Just stumbled on this article and I’m kinda in a tough spot with CJ being a part of a hefty trade proposal I received.. The league is 12T / 9 Cat and I was offered:

CJ, Middleton, and Tobias for my Kyrie, Terry, and PJ Washington.. the goal is to punt assists but I still feel like I’m losing this one?

Joe Bernard
Joe
1 month ago
Reply to  Eddie K

Hey Eddie,
Thanks for your response.
I’d be hesitant too if I was you.
As much as I believe CJ will be better than he has been I would not be trading kyrie in this deal.
I know kyrie can be volatile but he also has top 10 upside and is the best player in this deal.
I also like terry to bounce back as well so I would be hitting reject on this one but only you know what’s best for your roster.
Hope that was helpful and good luck.