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CJ McCollum says he hasn’t spoken to Zion since trade to Pelicans

New Orleans Pelicans New Player Portraits

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 11:CJ McCollum #3 of the New Orleans Pelicans poses for a portrait on February 11, 2022 at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

CLEVELAND — New Orleans traded for CJ McCollum to provide another outside threat and playmaker on the perimeter that complements Zion Williamson’s inside game.

“Basketball is basketball, I’ve been a leader my whole life, so it’s not hard for me to transition,” McCollum said on Saturday before taking part in the 3-Point Shooting Contest. “It’s more so getting used to my teammates, the staff, the organization, and figuring out how to get the most out of everybody, including myself.”

The one guy on the team McCollum hasn’t started to get the most out of is the injured Zion — the two haven’t even spoken, McCollum said on TNT’s pregame show before All-Star Saturday. From Mason Ginsberg of Bourbon St. Shots and Blue Wire Pods:

Zion is away from the team, rehabbing from offseason surgery on his right foot, which may require a second surgery. He has not played a minute for the Pelicans this season. There have been rumors of a real disconnect between Zion and the Pelicans organization, and he reportedly has not been the most diligent person with his rehab.

This is just another sign of that disconnect — an invested player reaches out to the star your team just traded for. Zion didn’t bother. That alone says plenty. McCollum has tried, but they have yet to speak. None of it is a good sign for Pelicans’ fans.