C.J. McCollum: Portland Trail Blazers Give ‘Most Improved Player’ $106 Million Contract Extension

NBA player C.J. McCollum now has 106 million reasons to remain on the Portland Trail Blazers roster for several more years.

According to CBS Sports, the Trail Blazers and C.J. McCollum have agreed to a four-year maximum contract extension worth $106 million.

The team is apparently trying to build a solid franchise with a well-structured, high-performing foundation. The Trail Blazers had already taken a huge step toward achieving that goal by securing a maximum contract extension with its leading star player Damian Lillard.

By essentially doing the same for C.J. McCollum, the Portland Trail Blazers are committing themselves to a substantial investment in their backcourt as well.

During the 2015-16 season, C.J. McCollum definitely grabbed a lot of people’s attention – including fans, critics, coaches, and obviously the team’s owner and upper management.

C.J. McCollum [Photo by Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Images]He earned the “Most Improved Player” award at the end of last season – adding a solid accolade to his first full season playing alongside Damian Lillard. It is true that the Portland Trail Blazers did not make it to the NBA Finals. However, they were still able to advance to the Semi-Finals before being eliminated by the Golden State Warriors.

When you focus on the Portland Trail Blazers’ overall performance throughout the season, though, their backcourt was the third-highest scoring group in the league. Most fans and critics that paid close attention to the Blazers performance during the regular season would agree that C.J. McCollum played a vital role in achieving that particular team accolade.

C.J. McCollum [Photo by Jae C. Hong/AP Images]The decision to add C.J. McCollum to the starting line-up last season at shooting guard may have caused skeptical fans to raise their eyebrows in confusion or even minor reluctance. However, it was made crystal clear that Neil Olshey and Terry Stotts knew exactly what they were doing by making that call.

He was a stellar outside shooter throughout the season, averaging 41.7 percent with his three-point shots. Playing an average of 34.8 minutes a night, C.J. McCollum also averaged 3.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists along with increasing his scoring average from 6.8 points to 20.8 points between the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.

Receiving 101 of the possible 130 first-place votes secured his “Most Improved Player” award and more than likely was a key factor in the negotiation stage of his contract extension.

C.J. McCollum was able to show off his humble and modest side with a post on his Facebook page Monday after the news of his contract extension started making waves online. The 24-year-old Ohio native added a simple caption to a throwback picture from his days of playing high school basketball.

“Same kid from Canton, Ohio.”

CJ McCollum [Image via CJ McCollum/Facebook]C.J. McCollum joined the Lehigh University Mountain Hawks basketball team in 2009, making an impact right away during his freshman year. The Portland Trail Blazers selected McCollum with the 10th overall pick in the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft. His “Most Improved Player” award is the first award and accolade that he has received so far in his professional basketball career. However, most fans and critics would agree that he has the potential to make big waves within the league in the years to come.

[Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP Images]