The New Orleans Pelicans continued to lock up the core of their roster after agreeing to a contract extension with CJ McCollum on Saturday.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, McCollum and the Pelicans agreed to terms on a two-year, $64 million extension that will keep the shooting guard in the Big Easy through the 2025-26 season.
There had been rumblings that an extension was coming. ESPN's Brian Windhorst noted on the July 6 episode of The Hoop Collective podcast (h/t RealGM.com) that the Pelicans and McCollum were going to start contract talks soon.
The 2022-23 season is the second year of McCollum's three-year, $100 million extension he originally signed with the Portland Trail Blazers in July 2019.
New Orleans added McCollum in a midseason trade with the Blazers in February. The 31-year-old spent nine seasons in Portland after being drafted No. 10 overall in 2013.
The acquisition of McCollum helped spark the Pelicans to a 16-14 record over the final 30 games of the regular season. They made the play-in tournament, defeating the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers to earn the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.
The biggest question for the Pelicans coming into the offseason was about Zion Williamson's future. They quickly answered it by giving him the designated five-year rookie supermax extension worth up to $231 million.
Heading into the 2022-23 season, McCollum is going to be a crucial glue guy for the young Pelicans starters. He has more regular-season and playoff experience than the vast majority of players on the roster.
New Orleans' ceiling will be determined by how many games Williamson is able to play. A core of Williamson, McCollum, Brandon Ingram and Herbert Jones has tremendous potential, even in a deep Western Conference.
McCollum played some of the best basketball of his career after the trade. He averaged 24.3 points on 49.3 percent field-goal shooting (39.4 percent from three) and 5.8 assists per game in 26 starts.