On Tuesday morning, CJ McCollum and the Portland Trail Blazers agreed to a three-year, $100 million contract extension. This solidifies the 27-year-old’s future will be with the Blazers.
CJ McCollum has become one of the most effective scoring guards in the NBA over his six-year career. And now, McCollum will remain a part of the Portland Trail Blazers organization for the foreseeable future.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski and numerous other reports, the former NBA’s Most Improved Player and the Blazers have agreed to extend his current contract to last for five years, which will earn McCollum $157 million over that period of time.
This is monumental for the Portland Trail Blazers, as they now have both Damian Lillard and McCollum secured for the future. For at least five more years, Dame and CJ will wreak havoc on opposing defenses.
Now to explain why this is an important deal for Portland.
Last season, CJ McCollum averaged 21 points per game on 46 percent shooting from the field in the regular season. In the playoffs, McCollum upped that total to 24.7 points per game.
If that statistic doesn’t show CJ McCollum’s talent, what does?
Through both stats and performance as a whole, CJ helped bring the Blazers to the Western Conference Finals with his performance against the both the Denver Nuggets and Oklahoma City Thunder.
He averaged 26.6 points per game in the series against Denver and closed out the Nuggets with a 37 point performance in Game 7. Said performance was highlighted by his chase-down block on Jamal Murray and his dagger over Torrey Craig.
Still, CJ is often criticized by NBA fans and unfairly discredited for his efforts. For example, CJ is barely behind Klay Thompson and DeMar DeRozan in regular season points per game (0.5 and 0.2 respectively), all the while outscoring them and the vast majority of other guards in the playoffs.
Still, certain people believe CJ does not deserve to be paid $33 million per year in his extension.
The reason why so many fans sleep on CJ McCollum is that he is the second best player on the Blazers and their second best scoring option. Damian Lillard has the majority of the touches on offense because of his incredible skill.
That does not take away from how valuable CJ McCollum is to the Blazers.
Instead of realizing how insanely difficult it is or how it takes tremendous skill to score 21 points per game as a second option; fans like to believe Bradley Beal or Devin Booker are better than CJ.
Why is that?
Simply because shooting more shots for a worse team and losing is more impressive looking than scoring more points in the playoffs and being the second option on one of the best teams in the NBA.
While some will still sleep on CJ, Rip City as a fan base and organization will not make that mistake. He will bring an intense will to win to the team as well as an improved leadership role in the future.
As someone who has been severely underrated throughout his career, McCollum is finally getting paid what he deserves.