Darren Collison signs three-year, $16 million contract with the Kings

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Darren Collison, scheduled to earn less than $2 million next season, opted out of his contract seeking two things:

  • To re-sign with the Clippers
  • To make more money

The Clippers are most concerned with upgrading at small forward, leaving Collison hanging in the open.

At least he’ll get paid.

Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times:

Forget the Kings re-signing Isaiah Thomas and remaining under the luxury tax. They’re now hard-capped, and even if they waive Quincy Acy and Willie Reed, I project they could offer Thomas a stating salary of less than $5,745,652 – which could max out at $33,037,499 over a five-year contract. However, that starting salary must be lowered by the amount of Carl Landry’s potential incentives, an amount I do not know.

Even if Landry’s incentives are only $1 – an exaggeratedly low figure – that’s not enough space to keep Thomas. Unless the Kings make another deal, they’re likely rolling with Collison as their starter and Ray McCallum as his backup.

Essentially, if another team offers Thomas, a restricted free agent, a contract that would take the Kings over the hard cap, they can’t match. I bet someone does that, unless Sacramento makes other moves to clear room before Collison’s deal becomes official July 10.

The Clippers will miss Collison, especially the relief he provided for Chris Paul. This might make the them hesitant to trade Jamal Crawford now. Though a starting small forward is a bigger concern than having a scoring guard off the bench, both matter.

Update: Ken Berger of CBSSports.com:

That would be the other shoe to drop. Jason Terry, Carl Landry, Jason Thompson and Travis Outlaw are all candidates. (Man, Sacramento has a lot of bad contracts.)

That could give the Kings room to re-sign Thomas below the hard cap. Perhaps more importantly, it could give them room to leverage a sign-and-trade for Thomas.