CJ McCollum Says He Wants to Retire with Pelicans: 'I'm Not Going Nowhere'

Doric SamApril 27, 2022

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - APRIL 24: CJ McCollum #3 of the New Orleans Pelicans reacts during the second half of Game Four of the Western Conference First Round against the Phoenix Suns at the Smoothie King Center on April 24, 2022 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. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

After being acquired by the New Orleans Pelicans at this year's trade deadline, CJ McCollum has been a perfect fit as he helped lead the team to a surprising playoff berth.

McCollum told Andscape's Marc J. Spears that he is enjoying his new home so much that he intends to remain in New Orleans for the rest of his career.

"I'm not going nowhere. I'm here," McCollum said. "Where am I going to go? Leave for what? I want to retire here."

McCollum went on to say that it's important for him to stay rooted at this point in his life. He also expressed a commitment to continue building with the Pelicans, who are a rising team in the Western Conference.

"I'm 30 years old and I have a son who is 13 weeks old. I'm married. When you have something good, you hold on to it," he said. "This is something fun for both sides. We're going to grow. I'm still learning the city. I'm going to find a house."

McCollum is under contract for the next two seasons and becomes eligible for a three-year extension on August 9, but he said that's not his focus right now. The nine-year veteran said he has no intentions of testing free agency at any point.

"I can't say anything about that," McCollum said about a possible extension. "We haven't talked yet. I haven't talked to upper management. But I told my wife before I left [Portland] that 'Wherever I go, I want to finish my career. New Orleans is on the list of places I would like to finish my career.' I told my agent that. I'm not about bouncing around."

The Pelicans are down 3-2 to the Phoenix Suns ahead of Thursday's Game 6 in New Orleans. McCollum is averaging 23.4 points in the series, which ranks second on the team behind Brandon Ingram's 28.2.