New Orleans Pelicans: Why extending CJ McCollum is a smart move

CJ McCollum #3 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
CJ McCollum #3 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

CJ McCollum has two more years with the New Orleans Pelicans before he becomes a free agent. In the year 2024, McCollum will be 33-years-old, but it would be smart for the Pelicans to give him a contract extension before he hits the free-agent market.

Ever since he became a Pelican CJ McCollum has called New Orleans his home. He even mentioned retiring with the Pels:

"“I’m not going nowhere. I’m here…where am I going to go? Leave for what? I want to retire here.”"

He has been a fan favorite ever since then because of his loyalty to the organization. Now it is time for the Pelicans to show their loyalty to CJ by giving him an extension.

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New Orleans Pelicans: The CJ McCollum extension

In 26 games with the New Orleans Pelicans, CJ McCollum averaged 24 PPG off near 50 percent shooting. He is a very efficient player that is able to score the ball from the mid-range as well as from beyond the arc. He will be the third option when Zion Williamson is back and with Brandon Ingram being the go-to guy, which will make the Pelicans a more lethal offensive team.

His veteran experience helped the Pelicans make a run to the NBA Playoffs, so keeping him around a few more years will ensure a leadership the New Orleans Pelicans need to help guys like Zion, Trey Murphy, and more grow into stardom.

McCollum’s salary now is roughly $33 million a year and the Pelicans could extend his contract giving him $30 million a year for two or three extra years; putting him in that $60-$90 million range. Which is a reasonable price considering he would be into his mid 30s.

The New Orleans Pelicans giving CJ McCollum a contract extension will be beneficial for both parties. CJ McCollum is not only a talented player who gives the Pelicans one of the best trios in the NBA, but he is a veteran leader whose influence will be instrumental in the Pels making a run at an NBA title.

After the Pels lock up McCollum, they will turn their attention to Larry Nance Jr., who they also reportedly want to lock into a longer deal.

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