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McCollum gets two-year, $64million extension from Pelicans
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CJ McCollum has reportedly extended his deal with the Pelicans
CJ McCollum has reportedly extended his deal with the Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans and star guard CJ McCollum have agreed to a two-year, $64million contract extension, according to reports.

The deal, as reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, keeps McCollum signed through the 2025-26 season, tying him to fellow stars Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, who are signed through at least the next three seasons.

McCollum – who was acquired from the Portland Trail Blazers in February – was a scoring machine down the stretch for the Pelicans and helped lift New Orleans into the play-in tournament and, eventually, a compelling six-game series against the top-seeded Phoenix Suns.

The 31-year-old guard averaged 24.3 points in 26 games with the Pelicans last season, shooting 49.3 per cent from the field and 39.4 per cent from three-point range.

With one offseason priority completed, the Pelicans can now turn their focus towards getting Williamson back on the court after he missed the entire 2021-22 season with a broken right foot.

New Orleans fans spent much of last season waiting for Williamson's return, which never came.

Williamson averaged 27 points over 61 games in 2020-21.

With their stars now fully healthy, the Pelicans carry elevated expectations into this season, despite playing in a loaded Western Conference.

New Orleans' high-scoring trio of stars is accompanied by veterans like Jonas Valanciunas, Larry Nance Jr. and Devonte' Graham, while second-year defensive ace Herbert Jones is expected to take a step forward.

So much of the Pelicans' potential success, however, relies on health.

Williamson has played 85 career games since being drafted No. 1 overall in 2019. McCollum has missed a total of 45 games over the past two seasons, and Ingram has never played more than 62 games in a season as a starter.

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