Darren Collison

Darren Collison To Remain Retired

Veteran free agent Darren Collison has decided to remain retired and is no longer considering an NBA comeback this season, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Collison had been pondering a return to the court, with both the Clippers and Lakers heavily interested in adding the 32-year-old to their roster. Collison informed teams that the timing for his return simply isn’t right for him, Wojnarowski adds.

Collison last saw action with the Pacers during the 2018/19 season, averaging 11.2 points and six assists in 28.2 minutes per contest. He was seen at Staples Center for the Lakers’ game against Houston on Thursday with owner Jeanie Buss.

Collison holds career averages of 12.5 points, five rebounds and 1.2 steals per contest, spending time with New Orleans, Indiana, Dallas, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Indiana across his 10-year NBA career.

Although he won’t return to the league now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Collison won’t make a comeback down the road, perhaps even as early as this summer, as Sean Deveney of Heavy.com wrote last week.

Pacific Notes: Suns, Collison, Green, Holmes

Suns general manager James Jones defended his lack of moves at the trade deadline this past Thursday to The Athletic’s Gina Mizell. “I just felt that we’re building, and I didn’t want to disrupt the continuity,” Jones said. “That’s generally why we didn’t make a move. Our guys are getting better. They’re still developing.”

The Suns are currently seeded 13th in the Western Conference with a 21-32 record. They have not made the NBA playoffs since 2010.

There’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • Before Darren Collison observed a Lakers-Rockets Staples Center contest on Thursday next to team owner Jeanie Buss, he had already been in contact with some important LA personnel, according to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. Anthony Davis and executive director of special projects Linda Rambis both spoke with Collison once word broke that the point guard was considering returning to the NBA, following his abrupt retirement in the summer of 2019.
  • Warriors forward Draymond Green joined ESPN’s The Jump on their ABC pregame show last night to discuss the team’s disappointing season (Twitter link). “It’s been [really] fun for me trying to mentor these guys,” Green told Rachel Nichols, Tracy McGrady and Richard Jefferson. He also discussed the team’s addition of pricey wing Andrew Wiggins from Minnesota. “He’s athletic, he can run the floor, he can score the basketball,” Green noted (Twitter link).
  • Injured Kings center Richaun Holmes has been participating in portions of the team’s practices this week, including taking some contact, according to a Kings team statement. An injury to the right shoulder joint has held Holmes out of game action since January 7.

Clippers Notes: Morris, Beverley, Noah, Collison

The Clippers believe newly-acquired Marcus Morris will have a smooth transition to his new team, writes Mirjam Swanson of The Orange County Register. Morris was averaging a career-best 19.6 points per game with the Knicks and shooting 43.9% from beyond the arc before Thursday’s trade. Clippers officials expect him to provide an upgrade offensively over Maurice Harkless, who was sent to New York in the deal.

“There may be no better fit than Marcus,” general manager Michael Winger said.

In addition to his scoring prowess, Morris brings another dose of on-court toughness that the organization prides itself on. He’s joining a pair of former teammates in Patrick Beverley and Patrick Patterson, who played alongside him in Houston.

“My brother back with me. It’s on,” Beverley tweeted after the trade was announced.

There’s more Clippers news to pass along:

  • Coach Doc Rivers said the team did plenty of background work on Morris before the deal and was pleased with the responses, tweets Jovah Buha of The Athletic. “A lot of research goes into when you make a trade, especially with this team and where we’re trying to go,” Rivers said. “You can’t take any chances. You have to make sure guys are a good fit. … All the intel we had was very positive.” Rivers plans to experiment with some smaller lineups using Morris and JaMychal Green surrounded by three shooters (Twitter link).
  • Meeting with reporters tonight, Morris said the Clippers made a positive impression when he met with them in free agency, even though he wound up with the Knicks, relays Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). “I could tell that the main goal here was trying to win a championship and that’s something that I wanted to be part of,” Morris said. “Obviously last summer some things didn’t go the way I thought it would, but we here now, $15MM richer.”
  • Joakim Noah remains an option for the Clippers, according to Sean Deveney of Heavy.com. A minor injury forced Noah to cancel a workout with L.A. just before training camp opened in September, but the 34-year-old center has been targeting a return once buyout season began. A source tells Heavy that Noah is fully healthy and “has been working on maintaining his conditioning and is hopeful that he’ll play this season.”
  • Even if Darren Collison decides against returning to the NBA this season, that may not mark the end of his career, according to Sean Deveney of Heavy. Collison, who is expected to decide soon and prefers to join the Clippers or Lakers, could put off his comeback until summer.

Darren Collison To Decide Future Next Week

Free agent point guard Darren Collison will meet with his agent, Bill Duffy, early next week to decide whether to come out of retirement, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. If Collison chooses to play, Duffy will set up meetings with the Lakers and Clippers, Wojnarowski said.

Collison lives in southern California and was spotted sitting next to Lakers owner Jeanie Buss at Thursday’s game against the Rockets.

Collison averaged 11.2 PPG and 6.0 APG for Indiana last season. He’s averaged 12.5 PPG and 5.0 APG in 29.4 MPG over 708 career regular-season games.

Collison chose to retire over the summer in order to devote more time to his Jehovah’s Witness ministry and spend more time with his family. He was also working with Pro’s Vision, a training company that works primarily with young athletes.

The Lakers have a crowd at point guard, though no standout. That group includes Alex CarusoRajon Rondo and Avery Bradley. Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams are the Clippers’ top point men.

Collison played two seasons under current Lakers coach Frank Vogel from 2010-12 with the Pacers.

The Lakers have been looking for a point guard upgrade and made inquiries prior to the trade deadline regarding the Thunder’s Dennis Schroder and the Pistons’ Derrick Rose, among others, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.

Western Notes: Wiggins, Collison, Warriors

While Andrew Wiggins‘ contract, which has over $94MM left on it after this season, may seem like it is a negative mark on his trade value, that perception is no longer the reality around the league.

The Timberwolves knew they likely had to move Wiggins (for salary-matching purposes) and reached out to other teams about taking on the 24-year-old prior to agreeing to terms with the Warriors.

The former No. 1 pick has improved his value considerably since last season — part of that is him buying into the plan set forth by Minnesota’s player development staff. Wiggins is finding better looks and taking a more cerebral approach to the game this year after putting in substantial work during the offseason.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • The Timberwolves had spoken to the Mavericks about a Wiggins deal prior to trading him to the Warriors, per a source. It’s unclear how far those talks went.
  • Former NBA wing Matt Barnes remains close with Darren Collison and says the point guard is “50/50” on returning to the league, as ESPN’s Rachel Nichols tweets. It was previously reported that if Collison returns, he’d prefer to go to the Lakers or Clippers.
  • The Warriors trading Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III caught the locker room by surprise. “So this was a blindside,” one member of the team told Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Prior to the team’s matchup on Wednesday night, the front office pulled Burks and Robinson from pre-game shootaround, signaling that the duo was going to be traded.

Lakers Notes: Smith, Collison, Buyouts

The Lakers are expected to give free agent guard J.R. Smith a post-trade deadline audition, perhaps as soon as next week, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets (story first reported by Brandon ‘Scoop’ Robinson of Heavy.com).

Smith hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since November 19, 2018, the last of 11 games he played with the Cavaliers last season. The 34-year-old Smith has averaged 12.5 PPG in an NBA career that began during the 2004/05 season.

The Lakers remain the favorite to sign free agent point guard Darren Collison if he chooses to return to the league after retiring last summer. They’ll also be looking into the buyout market for reinforcements, Stein adds.

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • The team did not make a deal prior to Thursday’s deadline and still has a full roster, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin notes in a tweet. McMenamin also relays they’ll look into signing Collison and see what develops in the buyout market.
  • It’s believed that Collison’s preference is the Lakers over the Clippers, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer tweets. Collison is expected to make a decision on whether to un-retire after the All-Star game. He doesn’t want to leave the Southern California area, meaning the Lakers or Clippers would be the main players for his services. The Nuggets and Sixers also reportedly have interest in Collison if he’s willing to move away from the area.

Darren Collison Prefers Lakers, Clippers If He Returns

Darren Collison is expected to make a decision on his professional future after the All-Star game, a source tell Sean Deveney of Heavy.com.

It was recently reported that Collison, who abruptly retired last offseason, was considering a return to the league.  Deveney reports that the point guard will weigh all options later in the month. He doesn’t want to leave the Southern California area, meaning the Lakers or Clippers would be his preference.

The Clippers’ wish list includes a defensive-minded wing and a point guard, per Deveney, though the team is likely to wait on the point guard until the buyout market emerges. The Lakers have been using LeBron James as their point with much success, yet they could use an additional ball-handler.

The Nuggets and Sixers also have interest in Collison should he be willing to move away from the area, Shams Charania told Alex Kennedy on The HoopsHype podcast. Behind Ben Simmons, the Sixers have Raul Neto and Trey Burke, who isn’t getting much playing time. The Nuggets are without starting point guard Jamal Murray at the moment. They have Monte Morris and PJ Dozier manning the point guard spot.

Pacific Notes: Dedmon, Giles, AD, Kerr, Clippers

Kings head coach Luke Walton said earlier this week that making Dewayne Dedmon inactive for three consecutive games wasn’t related to the big man’s desire to be traded and wouldn’t necessarily be permanent, as Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee writes. Sure enough, an injury to Richaun Holmes gave Dedmon an opportunity to get back on the court on Tuesday.

In fact, Holmes’ absence paved the way for two big men who had been out of the rotation earlier in the season to play significant roles. Harry Giles got his first career NBA start, while Dedmon played 32 minutes off the bench. The duo combined for 20 points and 18 rebounds, helping to lead the Kings to a comeback road win over Phoenix.

According to James Ham of NBC Sports California, both centers received praise from Walton after the game, with the Kings head coach telling reporters that Giles gave the club some “good minutes” and Dedmon “took full advantage” of his opportunity.

With Giles facing unrestricted free agency at season’s end and Dedmon hoping to be dealt, it’s possible neither center has a place in the Kings’ future. But having both players perform well could open some doors for Sacramento at the trade deadline — at the very least, it will help keep the team in the playoff race while Holmes recovers.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • While Anthony Davis will be eligible to earn a projected $202MM over five years with the Lakers on his next contract, he may be more inclined to sign a three-year deal with a player option, writes Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. That would give Davis the chance to opt out and sign a more lucrative long-term contract in 2022, when he has 10 years of NBA experience.
  • The NBA has fined Warriors head coach Steve Kerr $25K for “verbally abusing” a game official and failing to leave the court immediately after being ejected, the league announced today in a press release. Kerr expressed his displeasure with a call in the second quarter of Monday’s game vs. Sacramento, yelling “Wake your a– up!” at referee Jason Goldenberg.
  • Jovan Buha of The Athletic explores the likelihood of the Clippers adding a veteran like Darren Collison, Aron Baynes, or Thaddeus Young. Buha views a trade for Baynes or Young as a long shot, but believes the Clips shouldn’t hesitate to open a roster spot for Collison if he’s willing to sign with them.

Lakers Notes: Augustin, Collison, Rondo, Kuzma

D.J. Augustin could be an option for the Lakers as they seek help at point guard, writes Sean Deveney of Heavy. A source tells Deveney the team would be the front-runner to land Darren Collison if he’s serious about returning to the NBA, but the Lakers’ front office is exploring other options as well.

LeBron James has been handling most of the point guard duties, with help from 33-year-old Rajon Rondo and combo guards Alex Caruso and Avery Bradley. Offseason addition Quinn Cook has fallen out of the rotation.

Augustin, who has an expiring $7.25MM contract, would provide a more dependable option in the postseason. Deveney speculates that he might be available if the Magic decide to point toward next season after this week’s injury to Jonathan Isaac, particularly now that Markelle Fultz replaced Augustin as a starter. The Lakers don’t have a second-round pick to offer until 2023, but Deveney notes they do have Talen Horton-Tucker, who was drafted by Orlando last year.

There’s more Lakers news to pass along:

  • Collison, who said he wants to join one of the L.A. teams, would be the Lakers’ best option if he has kept his game sharp during his brief retirement, writes Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. Pincus points out that Collison spent the 2013/14 season with the Clippers, but also played for Lakers coach Frank Vogel in Indiana.
  • Rondo said he was convinced to spend another year with the Lakers after the organization acquired two of his former teammates by trading for Anthony Davis and signing DeMarcus Cousins, relays Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register. Cousins, who hasn’t played because of injury, was especially important, with Rondo telling general manager Rob Pelinka during free agency, “If you go grab Cous, you got me.”
  • The Lakers have started listening to trade offers involving Kyle Kuzma, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic. After hearing his name included in numerous rumors during his first two NBA seasons, Kuzma feels ready for whatever happens, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “I’ve been in trade rumors ever since I came here,” Kuzma said. “I think that’s just a thing that happens when you’re a Laker. You’re always in trade rumors, especially in this time, so it doesn’t really matter at the end of the day. Just control what you can control.”

Darren Collison Eyes Return With Either L.A. Team

Guard Darren Collison is mulling a February return to the NBA and would prefer to play with either the Lakers or Clippers, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.

Collison retired after last season for religious reasons.

Collision was projected to get offers in the $8-10MM range in free agency over the summer, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks. Both Los Angeles teams have full rosters and would need to shed a player to sign the veteran point man. Either team could ink him for the prorated minimum and the Lakers also have a $1.75MM Disabled Player Exception which expires on March 10, Marks adds (Twitter link).

Collison averaged 11.2 PPG and 6.0 APG for Indiana last season. He’s averaged 12.5 PPG and 5.0 APG in 29.4 MPG over 708 career regular-season games.

Collison chose to retire in order to devote more time to his Jehovah’s Witness ministry and spend more time with his family. He was also working with Pro’s Vision, a training company that works primarily with young athletes.

The Lakers have a crowd at point guard, though no standout. That group includes Alex Caruso, Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley. The Clippers also have a number of point options, including Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Terance Mann and Derrick Walton Jr.