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Giannis Antetokounmpo has started superbly this season
  1. NBA

NBA: McCollum set for New Orleans debut

CJ McCollum is set to make his New Orleans Pelicans debut on Thursday when Miami Heat visit after making the move from Portland Trail Blazers.

The Pelicans are 7/4 to win in the Money Line and Miami can be backed at 10/21.

Trade deal kicks in

New Orleans traded Josh Hart, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Tomas Satoransky, Didi Louzada and three draft picks to Portland for McCollum, Tony Snell and Larry Nance Jr earlier this week.

McCollum and Snell are in line to make their first appearances on Thursday, but Nance arrived with a knee injury and it remains unclear as to when he will be able to make his debut.

The Pelicans sit in 10th spot in the Western Conference as they battle to be involved in the postseason. 

The arrival of a star guard like McCollum, who averaged 20.5 points-per-game, 4.5 assists and 4.3 rebounds for Portland this season, should boost their chances of reaching the playoffs.

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Coping without Zion

The Pelicans have managed to mount a challenge for a playoff place despite the absence of star man Zion Williamson. 

The forward hasn't played this season due to a foot injury and it remains unclear when he will be back in action, but the arrival of McCollum should provide the team with a huge boost in their bid for a top 10 finish in the West.

The Blazers sit immediately below New Orleans in the standings but are dealing with some huge injury issues. 

Damian Lillard remains sidelined with an abdominal strain, and they have seemingly made this trade with an eye on next season and beyond rather than in any expectation of an immediate upturn in results.

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