Northwest Notes: Blazers, Jazz, Thunder

After playing the first several years of his NBA career on a contract that will pay him about $10MM in total, C.J. McCollum is set to begin playing on a $106MM+ deal a year from now, having signed an extension last month. Despite the huge pay raise, the Trail Blazers guard doesn’t expect to be affected by increased expectations, as he tells Oliver Maroney of Basketball Insiders. “The only real pressure is the pressure I put on myself. As long as I’m continuing to work and get better, no one is going to put pressure on me but myself,” McCollum said, adding that he thinks the franchise is “heading in the right direction.”

Here’s more from out of the Northwest:

  • As Bobby Marks of The Vertical details, the Jazz have built their current roster primarily through the draft, but adjusted that philosophy this summer by trading a late lottery pick for veteran point guard George Hill. After just missing the playoffs last season, Utah focused on adding veterans this offseason to take the next step.
  • In the wake of Russell Westbrook‘s new extension with the Thunder, Erik Horne of The Oklahoman examines the relationship between the star point guard and head coach Billy Donovan. According to Horne, Westbrook and Donovan have been in touch frequently this summer — sometimes “just saying hello,” per Westbrook.
  • As we outlined earlier today, Northwest teams spent the least amount of free agent money this summer out of any of the six divisions, with only the Trail Blazers making a major splash on the open market.

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