The Portland Trail Blazers traded their long-tenured shooting guard CJ McCollum to the New Orleans Pelicans in the days leading up to the NBA trade deadline. McCollum spoke to ESPN’s Andrew Lopez about the trade early Thursday morning.
McCollum mentioned that he was happy to end up in a situation where he was valued as an important part of the roster.
McCollum told reporters Thursday morning he was thankful that he didn’t have to go through the process other players sometimes go through when they are blindsided by the news of a trade.
“But I’m very fortunate to be going somewhere where I’m wanted, needed and where there’s mutual admiration,” McCollum said.
McCollum mentioned his role in where he ended up and the ongoing conversation he had with the front office of the Blazers throughout the process.
“I’m excited,” he said about the opportunity to play in New Orleans. “I’m thankful to have been in the league this long and have played with one organization this long. Looking forward to a new chapter. Looking forward to a new challenge and looking forward to playing with these young guys.”
McCollum also talks about his admiration for Pelicans coach Willie Green.
“He’s very down to earth. It’s kind of what I heard about him. He’s stern when he needs to be. But he’s a very loving coach. A very family-oriented guy. A God-fearing man who gets the best out of his best players. Having played, I think he understands what goes into this game from a preparation standpoint, what needs to be done to be successful,” McCollum said.
“I respect all coaches, but when you have a coach who’s played, you have a different type of relationship because they’ve been through the fire. He knows what it’s like to see guys get traded. He knows what it’s like to land at midnight and play a game the next day at 6 o’clock. I’m lucky to have this working relationship with him.”
You can read McCollum’s full quotes here,