In a wild summer of unexpected moves, one of the biggest surprises was Darren Collison deciding to walk away from a likely three-or-four year, $60 million to $80 million contract and retire to focus on his family and 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.
This week, a source told Heavy.com that Collison will weigh his options after the All-Star break and make a decision on a return then. He has remained in NBA-ready game shape and would be able to return to the court quickly once he signs.
Collison, a native of Southern California who went to UCLA, does not want to leave the area. He would prefer to sign with either the Lakers or the Clippers—and both teams need an added playmaker.
While both teams could use a playmaker, sources around the league say the Lakers are heavy favorites to land Collison.
He played the 2013-14 season with the Clippers under Doc Rivers and that reportedly did not end of the best of terms. That has sources expecting the Lakers to win out if Collison returns.
Collison played in 76 games for Indiana last season, averaging 11.6 points and six assists a game, plus he shot 40.7 percent from three. He is an above-average point guard with a well-rounded game. While the Pacers were looking to move on, there was a market for Collison around the league before he retired.
If he chooses the Lakers, it will be a considerable boost to their backcourt and playmaking depth. Something they need, the Lakers have struggled this season with LeBron James off the court.