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Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports that point guard CJ McCollum and the New Orleans Pelicans have reached a $64 million deal over the course of two seasons. A four-year, $133 million extension through the 2025-26 season will be added to his present agreement.
McCollum was a huge boost for the Pelicans when they acquired him in a trade. He started playing more point guard and averaged 24.3 points (on 55.3%, 39.6%, and 67.7% shooting) and 5.8 assists per game, the latter of which would have been a career best.
McCollum has been one of the NBA’s most efficient and productive scorers for the better part of a decade. His current run of seven consecutive seasons with a 20-point average is unprecedented. The jump shot is pure, as proven by his near-40% clip from three during that span and his 49% record on two-point attempts.
Most of McCollum’s two-point shots have come from pull-up jumpers, and his opponents’ inability to handle his unique combination of ball-handling, balance, footwork, and a very high release point has been cited as a big reason for his success.
McCollum, Brandon Ingram, and Zion Williamson, the Pelicans’ big three, are now signed through the 2024-25 season thanks to McCollum’s deal. The attacking potential of the triumvirate is impossible to ignore.
For over 1700 total minutes together, Ingram and Williamson have helped the Pelicans average 116.7 points per 100 possessions, according to PBP Stats. In the 628 minutes last season that Ingram and McCollum played together, the Pelicans’ productivity increased even more (to 118.7).
When Ingram, McCollum, and Williamson are all on the floor together, the Pelicans are almost impossible to stop because of their playmaking and shot-creating prowess. I’m not sure what to do when Zion is thrown into the mix, but we’ve already seen flashes of how the star wings and a large can be utilized together to put defenses in a blender.
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