CJ McCollum, the reigning Most Improved Player, and the Portland Trailblazers have agreed to a four-year extension worth $106 million, per a league source.
In his first season as a starter, the shooting guard averaged an impressive tally of 20.8 points, 4.3 assists and 3.2 rebounds, a year after he came off the bench for 6.8 points and 1.5 rebounds. With Wesley Mathews leaving Portland for Dallas in last year’s free agency, McCollum took advantage of the starting nod and seems to have maximized on his opportunity.
CJ McCollum makes commitment
According to The Vertical, McCollum’s four-year contract does not include a player option in the final year, a norm in modern day contracts. In fact, his deal doesn’t include a trade kicker, either.
“McCollum’s extension will start in the 2017-18 season, and he will earn $3.2 million in 2016-17, the last year of his current rookie contract. McCollum will earn approximately $23.9 million, $25.7 million, $27.5 million and $29.3 million over the course of the four-year deal – based upon the projected $102 million salary cap next year,” The Vertical explained the terms of the deal.
Since the salary cap rises to over $100 million next summer, it makes financial sense for the guard to play out the coming season on his rookie contract and enter a max deal starting next season. That’s exactly what McCollom seems to have done, avoiding the drama of free agency next year.
Portland secure future…
Portland have been one of the most aggressive teams this offseason. They signed free agent Evan Turner to a four-year, $70 million contract to kickstart free agency. After that, they signed former Golden State Warriors center Festus Ezeli to a two-year, $15 million contract.
But Portland wasn’t done there. After matching a max offer sheet worth $75 million for Allen Crabbe, they signed Meyers Leonard to a four-year, $41 million extension, a year after securing franchise player Damian Lillard to a five-year, $139 million contract.
With Lillard, Crabbe, Leonard, Ezeli, Turner and McCollum secured for several years, Portland’s future seems to be in good hands. Last year, they shocked the world by securing the No. 5 seed before advancing to the conference semi-finals, despite losing four starters in the offseason.
CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard have already made a case for the second best backcourt in the league after the Splash Brothers. There’s no reason to believe that they can’t sustain last year’s form.