Now that teams can officially begin signing free agents, Trail Blazers shooting guard CJ McCollum took time to thank Carmelo Anthony and Enes Kanter for being elite teammates and even better friends on the latest Pull Up Podcast where he discussed all things free agency.
But McCollum also made sure to discuss his excitement of the Blazers re-signing Norman Powell.
“Going through this period right now in the NBA, it’s very strange, it’s very real… seeing players get traded, seeing players signing new deals, new contracts,” McCollum said.
“It’s always an emotional time, but also a special time for a lot of players because their dreams are becoming a reality on being able to sign some of those larger contracts and larger numbers to where they create that generation of wealth which is one of the goals of playing sports in general is to be able to take care of their family.”
One of those guys that McCollum is excited for on many levels is Norman Powell.
Powell returns to the Blazers after agreeing to a five-year, $90 million deal.
He turned down his $11.6 million player option for the 2021-’22 season to take a rightful pay raise. Powell is coming off an impressive season with a career average 18.6 points on 47.7% shooting and 39.9% from the three-point line.
McCollum continued, “I think he provided a nice spark for us. He did a lot of different things for us, obviously. A guy that can get downhill, he can score around the basket, he’s strong, one of the best three-point shooters in the NBA, specifically from the corner over the last couple of years.
“He’s a guy that has given us a different look.”
Powell, 28, established himself as the third offensive player next to McCollum and Damian Lillard after he was inserted into the starting lineup at the small forward position instead of Derrick Jones Jr.
Powell also quickly became one of the team’s primary perimeter defenders at times next to Robert Covington.
McCollum likes the versatility that Powell will continue to bring.
“I think he’s definitely going to help us. He creates another look for us,” McCollum explained. “Another scorer, a guy that can do a lot of stuff, and also is a fiery competitor. I’m very happy for him – a guy who was under the radar.”
McCollum is looking forward to seeing what the newest role players will bring as well.
Check out the entire Pull Up Podcast with CJ McCollum right here.