The Los Angeles Lakers have spent a lot of their time waiting for players this season. They waited to see if Kawhi Leonard would choose them in free agency, they waited to see if Andre Iguodala would get bought out by the Memphis Grizzlies, and now they’re waiting to see if free agent point guard Darren Collison will make an NBA comeback. Luckily, it doesn’t sound like they’ll have to wait very long.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Collison is expected to decide whether or not he’s going to play in the NBA again some time next week, and which team he’d join:
Free agent guard Darren Collison has a meeting set with his agent, Bill Duffy, early next week in order to finalize a decision on a potential comeback, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Upon a decision to return, Duffy’s next step will be to set up formal meetings for Collison with the Los Angeles Lakers and LA Clippers, sources told Wojnarowski.
Collison made the decision to retire from basketball at the age of 32 in June, right before he was expected to cash in on a multi-year deal in unrestricted free agency. He retired to spend more time with his family, and practice his faith as a Jehovah Witness. Six months later, it sounds like Collison is getting the itch to play again.
His hometown Lakers could use his services. While the Lakers have managed with Rajon Rondo heading the second unit, it’s become clear that Rondo isn’t the same player he used to be, and without the hot shooting he showed at the start of the season, his fit with the team is awkward beyond his abilities as a ball-handler.
If Collison is the same player he was just last season — which isn’t a guarantee given the amount of time he’s missed — he’d give the Lakers the type of dribble penetration, shooting and shot creation they need to improve their spacing in the second unit. Last season with the Indiana Pacers, Collison averaged 11.2 points per game on 46.7% shooting from the field, including 40.7% shooting from behind the arc. He also averaged a career-high 6 assists per game.
Waiting on Collison may be frustrating, but he’s one of the few free agents that would move the needle for the Lakers in the right direction. Let’s hope he not only chooses to return to the NBA, but that he opts to play with the Lakers, too.