HECTOR AMEZCUA / hamezcua@sacbee.com

Lehigh point guard C.J. McCollum speaks with Darryl Arata, the Kings' director of basketball information, after his second predraft workout with the team Monday.

McCollum returns to Sacramento for Kings workout

Published: Monday, Jun. 24, 2013 - 5:58 pm
Last Modified: Tuesday, Sep. 3, 2013 - 5:38 pm

C.J. McCollum returned to Sacramento on Monday for a second look from the Kings with the possibility he could be back for good later this week.

McCollum is one of the top guard prospects in Thursday's NBA Draft and figures to be available when the Kings select seventh in the first round.

The Kings have been trying to improve their point guard position for some time and McCollum could be fill several voids. At Lehigh University, he proved to be an impressive perimeter shooter, good decision maker and at 6-foot-3, 197 pounds, would give the Kings more size at point guard to go with last season's starter, Isaiah Thomas.

McCollum thought he was done with pre-draft workouts last week and was looking forward to his trip to New York City for the draft. That was until the Kings called.

"I guess they're pretty interested in me or the GM (Pete D'Alessandro) wanted to see me play," McCollum said.

McCollum would give Sacramento a bigger option at the point after passing on Damian Lillard in last summer's draft. Lillard went to the Portland Trail Blazers and was the NBA Rookie of the Year.

Still, McCollum comes with questions.

He played at a small college and if his game can make the transition into the NBA. Some also wonder if McCollum is truly a point guard and if there are lingering affects from his broken foot that ended his last season in January.

"I'm not one of those guys that can't read stuff," McCollum said. "I like to read about myself, whether it's positive or negative, weaknesses or strengths, I like to critique my game. You need to know what's being said about you, good and bad, so I read up on some of the things in terms of big boards, people who break down my game and take it all stride."

McCollum proved to be a big-time scorer for Lehigh as a senior, averaging 23.9 points and making 51.6 percent of his three pointers.

McCollum said the draft process, however, has not been a quest to show he's a point guard.

"It's not about proving what I can do," McCollum said. "I'm a basketball player first and foremost. I'm going to make decisions off the pick and roll and I'm going to shoot when you go under (the screen). I'm sure they have a pretty good idea of my game and how I'll fit at the next level."

In Monday's workout, the Kings wanted to see how McCollum dealt with ball pressure from an athletic guard and matched him up with Texas guard Myck Kabongo.

Afterward, Kings coach Michael Malone said McCollum had a good showing.

"C.J. is a very polished individual, very smart kid and he's a very talented player," Malone said. "He can really shoot the ball and he proved he can really handle the ball."

McCollum said he wants the best situation for himself no matter where he is selected.

"You look at a guy like Kawhi Leonard ... who may have slid (down in draft last year), may have not," McCollum said. "He went 15 to the Spurs (via draft) and look what he's doing now, great situation. Hopefully, I do go in the lottery but if it doesn't work out that way I'll look forward to taking full advantage of whatever opportunity I get."

Et cetera - The other players that worked out Monday were Steven Adams (Pittsburgh), Grant Jerrett (Arizona), James Southerland (Syracuse) and Christian Watford (Indiana).

It was the Kings' last predraft workout before the draft.

• Malone's father, Brendan, was at Monday's workout and will be officially announced as part of the coaching staff next week, Michael said.

Chris Jent is the only assistant coach to be hired by Malone.

Follow The Bee's Jason Jones on Twitter @mr_jasonjones and read more about the team at www.sacbee.com/kings.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Jason Jones



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