Blazers formally sign CJ McCollum to contract extension
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Portland Trail Blazers formally signed guard CJ McCollum to a four-year contract extension Wednesday.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed by the team, but a person familiar with it told The Associated Press on Monday that it is worth $106 million.
The extension, which takes effect after the upcoming season, will keep McCollum in Portland through the 2020-21 season.
McCollum posted a photo of the signing on Instagram.
“I’m ecstatic to be able to extend my career in Portland and grateful for the trust and the opportunity the organization has provided for me,” he said in a statement. “Since I arrived in Oregon I’ve considered it home and look forward to building something special, not only on the court, but in the community as well.”
The Blazers also announced that the team had signed restricted free agent Maurice Harkless. The forward had announced the deal Tuesday via Twitter.
McCollum was named the NBA’s 2016 Most Improved Player after averaging 20.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists during the regular season. He raised his scoring average by more than 14 points over the previous season.
The 24-year-old guard became a starter in the Blazers’ backcourt with Damian Lillard last season after four of the team’s starters left in the offseason.
McCollum was the 10th overall selection in the 2013 NBA draft out of Lehigh. He’s averaged 12.7 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists over his three seasons in Portland.
But last year he was given a chance to shine on one of the youngest rosters in the league. The Blazers were considered a team that was rebuilding but they overachieved, earning the fifth seed in the Western Conference and advancing to the second round of the playoffs.
McCollum averaged 20.5 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists in the postseason.
“CJ is a foundational player and an essential member of the core of this team,” said Neil Olshey, the Blazers’ president of basketball operations “We are excited about his long term commitment to our organization.”
His 14-point improvement last season was the most since Tony Campbell improved from an average of 6.2 points to 23.2 points with Minnesota from the 1988-89 season to the 1989-90 season.
McCollum also finished the regular season with 197 3-pointers to rank ninth in the league and fourth most for the Blazers in one season. He scored in double figures in 79 games.
Harkless signed a four-year contract with the Blazers worth a reported $40 million.
The Blazers acquired Harkless in a trade with the Orlando Magic and he averaged 6.3 points and 3.6 rebounds in 78 games overall last season. He filled a key role late in the regular season when Meyers Leonard injured his shoulder, and averaged 12 points and 6.5 rebounds over the final 11 games.
Harkless, who played one season at St. Johns, was the 15th overall pick in the 2012 draft by Philadelphia. He was traded to Orlando before the 2012-13 season in the same deal that sent Dwight Howard to the Lakers.