CJ McCollum has inked a two-year $64 million contract extension with the New Orleans Pelicans, meaning the 2016 NBA Most Improved Player will stay with the NBA team for the next three seasons, ESPN reported.

Acquired alongside Larry Nance Jr. and Tony Snell for Josh Hart, Tomas Satoransky, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Didi Louzada, a 2022 protected first-round pick (turns into 2025 first-round pick that is top-4 protected), and two future second-round picks from the Portland Trail Blazers, the 31-year-old will stay on to combine with Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram – at least for three seasons more.

After starting the 2021-22 season slow, head coach Willie Green was instrumental in the Pelicans being able to turn around their campaign. From a 1-12 start, the Pels finished with a 36-46 win-loss record.

Even more impressive is that they brought down the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Clippers in the play-in tournament. Their run came to a halt when they fell to the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

When he arrived in New Orleans, McCollum averaged 24.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.3 steals, and 2.7 triples per game. It would be best to note as well that the Pelicans played with Williamson on the sidelines.

The 2022-23 NBA season will be a different story, especially if Williamson can return to NBA action. So far, nothing has been made official.

Assuming he does, the Pelicans could be a team to watch with McCollum, Ingram and Williamson in tow.

However, a return trip to the NBA playoffs will not be easy for the Pelicans with player movements happening. New Orleans may need to add more key personnel to their roster if they want to improve their performance last season.

There has been little movement and the only transaction that the Pelicans have made so far was the two-way contract signing of Dereon Seabron.

CJ McCollum #3 of the New Orleans Pelicans
CJ McCollum #3 of the New Orleans Pelicans Getty Images | Jonathan Bachman

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