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Report: Blazers’ CJ McCollum withdrawing from FIBA World Cup to concentrate on upcoming season

CJ McCollum, Blazers

Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum has announced that he will not be participating in the FIBA World Cup in order to better prepare for the upcoming regular season:

McCollum is the latest star to drop out of the tournament. On Friday, Houston Rockets star and former MVP James Harden announced that he, too, would not participate in the tournament. Other big NBA names that have been confirmed to be absent are Andrew Wiggins and Tristan Thompson for Team Canada.

Instead of playing for Team USA, McCollum will be resting up and focusing on the NBA season. Last season, the Lehigh product had a long season, playing 70 regular-season games and 16 postseason games.  He averaged just under 37 minutes in these games.

Clearly, McCollum could use a breather to get ready to start a season in which Portland has a chance yet again to make a playoff run. The team tweaked its roster by adding talents like Hassan Whiteside and Kent Bazemore and gave star guard Damian Lillard a deal that will make him the highest-paid player in NBA history.

The Blazers have gone all-in on their pursuit of a championship. It’s probably a good idea for McCollum to sit out the tournament in order to make sure that the Blazers second-best player is ready to start the season off on the right foot.

Even one bad stretch could doom a team in the loaded Western Conference.