The Los Angeles Lakers will have to expand their search for point guard depth after Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that that their main target, Darren Collison, will not come out of retirement on Sunday. Collison had been mulling an NBA comeback after the All-Star break, and if he decided to come out of retirement, the belief was that he’d sign with the Lakers or their rivals from across the hall, the LA Clippers.
The Lakers were aggressive in their pursuit of Collison, hosting him for their game against the Houston Rockets on Friday. At that game, Collison met with the team’s controlling governor, Jeanie Buss, as well as other members of the front office including Kurt and Linda Rambis. Additionally, Anthony Davis talked to Collison about playing for the Lakers, according to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times.
Unfortunately for the Lakers, that wasn’t enough to lure out of retirement. Collison announced his early retirement in June with the intention of spending more time with his family and practicing his faith. Prior to retiring, Collison was the starting point guard for the Indiana Pacers. In 76 starts, Collison averaged 11.2 points, 6 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.
With Collison off the board, the Lakers will have to shift their attention the remaining free guards, and the market in February isn’t awe-inspiring, as one can imagine. That could change within the coming weeks — as the buyout market continues to take shape — but even the best-case scenarios don’t move the needle for the Lakers as much as Collison would have with his shooting and ball-handling.
For that reason, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Lakers try and compensate their need for another point guard with another guard that can create their own shot. J.R. Smith is expected to get a workout with the team, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times.