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Pelicans' CJ McCollum Enters Health and Safety Protocols, Out vs. Grizzlies

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVNovember 24, 2022

PORTLAND, OREGON - DECEMBER 15: CJ McCollum #3 of the Portland Trail Blazers looks on during the second quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies at Moda Center on December 15, 2021 in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Steph Chambers/Getty Images

New Orleans Pelicans shooting guard CJ McCollum will miss Friday's matchup with the Memphis Grizzlies after being placed in the NBA's health and safety protocols, per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

McCollum didn't have an easy 2021-22 season. He missed almost all of December and half of January with a collapsed lung, and his former team, the Portland Trail Blazers, struggled during his absence.

The tough times didn't stop for the Blazers. When superstar Damian Lillard was lost for the season after undergoing abdominal surgery, the Blazers made a number of trades before the Feb. 10 deadline, sending Norman Powell and Robert Covington to the Los Angeles Clippers and McCollum to the Pelicans.

When healthy, the 31-year-old averaged 22.1 points and 5.1 assists per game, shooting 46.0 percent from the field and 38.8 percent from three.

While the Blazers retooled in the 2022-23 offseason, McCollum helped his new team reach the NBA playoffs last season, where they pushed the Phoenix Suns to six games in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs before bowing out.

It was an exciting run for the Pelicans nonetheless, as the team escaped the play-in tournament and made the top seed sweat, all without young superstar Zion Williamson.

This year, the Pelicans came into the season with high hopes, with Williamson healthy again and a core group that includes McCollum, Brandon Ingram and Herbert Jones.

While McCollum is sidelined, look for players like Jose Alvarado and Devonte' Graham to play a bigger role.

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