Darren Collison shocked the NBA last summer when he walked away from a likely multi-year, eight figures a season contract to retire and focus on his religion. “While I still love basketball, I know there is something more important, which is my family and my faith,” Collison said at the time.
Now he is considering a return to the NBA, specifically to the Lakers or Clippers, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Story filed to ESPN: After a stunning retirement prior to free agency, veteran guard Darren Collison is considering a February return to the NBA – with the Lakers and Clippers emerging as his two preferred destinations.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 1, 2020
Collison could help either Los Angeles team, both are looking for additional point guard depth (and both can only offer a veteran’s minimum contract). The Lakers use LeBron James at the point and have Rajon Rondo off the bench, but they are looking for another playmaker to help during the playoffs. The Clippers have the defensive mindset of Patrick Beverley starting, and they bring the scoring of Lou Williams off the bench, but they have been looking for depth at the position and someone who can bring a little balance on both ends of the court.
Collison’s retirement was a shock because at age 32 he still had game (the kind of game that could have earned him a four-year contract worth $80 million or more last summer). He played in 76 games for the Pacers last season, averaged 11.6 points and six assists a game, shot 40.7 percent from three, and was an above-average point guard all the way around. While the Pacers were looking to move on, there was a market for Collison’s services.
If Collison returns to one of the Los Angeles teams, it will be a massive boost for that roster. This sets up a serious recruiting battle between the growing rivals.