Collison Considering NBA Return, Could Be Decisive Piece In Battle For Los Angeles
Lakers Or Clippers? Collison’s Potential Landing Spots
One of the wildest free agencies in NBA history was preceded by the shocking retirement of veteran guard Darren Collison despite expectations that he’d court deals offering him $10 million a year or more.
Now, the 32-year-old has his eye on a return after his stunning departure from the league in late June. According to reports, the Lakers and Clippers would be his most likely landing spots.
Collison Addition Could Prove Decisive For Both Teams
The two Los Angeles teams appear locked in a battle for supremacy of the Western Conference, and the addition of a piece like Collison could prove decisive for two closely-matched squads.
Right now, both the Lakers and Clippers are the favorites to win the Western Conference with odds of +190 and are tied with the second-best odds to win the NBA Finals with odds of +320.
Religious Reasons Behind Retirement
When he announced his surprise retirement from the NBA in June, Collison cited religious reasons. Collison issued a statement at that time in which he said:
“While I still love basketball, I know there is something more important, which is my family and my faith. I am one of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and my faith means everything to me.”
Now, Collison could be the key piece to decide who represents the Western Conference in the NBA Finals.
What Collison Would Bring To Los Angeles
Many NBA contenders have stayed in contact with Collison’s agent, Bill Duffy, throughout the last few months because they know he could be an important part of a championship roster.
So, what exactly is Collison bringing to the table?
A Solid Player
In addition to his veteran leadership, Collison still has the ability to be a productive bench player. Last season, Collison averaged 11 points and six assists per game with the Pacers.
Perhaps more importantly, Collison has become a quality three-point shooter as he’s gained more and more NBA experience. In the 2017-18 season, Collison shot 47 percent from beyond the arc for Indiana.
Collison would also be familiar with the coach of either Los Angeles club.
In 2013-14, Collison played one season for Doc Rivers, who’s now in charge of the Clippers. More recently, Collison played 1.5 seasons in Indiana under Frank Vogel, who’s the current coach of the Lakers.
Collison Joins Iguodala Atop Contenders’ Wish List
While the likes of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George are already locked in a battle for Los Angeles, the war could be heavily swayed by two players who aren’t currently on either LA roster.
The Lakers and Clippers are both awaiting the return of Collison, which would likely come after the trade deadline on Feb. 6. However, he isn’t the only player these teams are after.
LA Teams Also Fighting For Iguodala
Both Los Angeles clubs are also competing for Andre Iguodala, who’s currently a member of the Grizzlies but is awaiting a trade away from Memphis. Last year, Iguodala played 68 games for the Golden State Warriors.
While Collison would bring some scoring and a three-point shot to a roster, Iguodala would be a welcome defensive piece that could guard the likes of James, Leonard, or George in a potential Western Conference Finals between the Lakers and Clippers.
The Lakers and Clippers are two of the NBA’s best teams right now, and they stand to improve should Collison and/or Iguodala join their ranks.