New Orleans Pelicans: This could finally be the year for CJ McCollum

CJ McCollum #3 of the New Orleans Pelicans . (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)
CJ McCollum #3 of the New Orleans Pelicans . (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans and the rest of the Western Conference were happy to hear the news that Donovan Mitchell was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Mitchell trade makes things a little easier for the Pelicans, as Utah is now firmly in rebuilding mode, which should make a season sweep of the Jazz a possibility.

The Pelicans play the Jazz three times and Cleveland only twice, so the move should be a net gain for New Orleans as they try to climb in the Western Conference standings.

But it’s not just the team that will benefit from the Mitchell trade, it could also help CJ McCollum, who now has a better chance to break through and achieve something that has eluded him so far in his outstanding career.

New Orleans Pelicans: CJ McCollum and the All-Star team

Even though he has averaged over 20 points per game for the last seven seasons, been part of the one of the league’s best backcourts, and made the Western Conference Finals, CJ McCollum has never made an All-Star team.

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There were plenty of seasons when he had a strong case, but McCollum was always overshadowed by teammate Damian Lillard, even though his contributions were clearly a big part of Portland’s success over the years.

But with Mitchell now out of the conference, along with Dejounte Murray, the door is wide open for McCollum to make his first All-Star bid, as both of those guys were All-Stars for the Western Conference last season.

There is also the strong possibility that the New Orleans Pelicans are better next season, and if they can pull off a top-4 seed (or close) they will be rewarded with individual awards, which means that Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and McCollum could all find themselves on the All-Star team.

Of course, Zion’s return will take some shots from CJ, but voters tend to reward team success and McCollum is one of the most well-liked and respected players in the league.

Could this be the year that CJ McCollum finally gets his due and makes the All-Star team? I think it’s a strong bet.

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