The Los Angeles Clippers were pleasantly surprised with the excellent play of backup point guard Darren Collison this season, but they will have to work to re-sign him in the offseason.
According to a report from CSNNW.com, Collison will be opting out of the second year of his contract to look for a more lucrative deal elsewhere or potentially with the Clippers. He stepped in very nicely for Chris Paul when he went down with injury, and was a key piece in the back-court alongside of Paul down the stretch of the season and into the playoffs.
Darren Collison of the Los Angeles Clippers will forgo the second year of his contract that would have paid him $1.9 million to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, a league source informed CSNNW.com.
The source’s response to our inquiry was, “Darren is definitely opting out.”
The Clippers are very much Collison’s preferred team of choice due to the team’s unique bond that only drew them closer in the midst of the Donald Sterling recordings. However, we’re told he’s keeping his options open.
This is certainly interesting news coming out of L.A. and it probably will make other teams that need a point guard very happy. Collison may not be the best starting point guard out there, but he would be an upgrade for quite a few teams if a team did sign him to do that. His ability to score was on full display quite a few times last year, and his defense has improved in a big way.
Collison played in 80 games this past season with the Clippers, starting in 35 of those appearances. He averaged 11.4 points, 3.7 assists, and 2.4 rebounds per game, and also chipped in on defense with 1.2 steals per game. There is no doubt that he has some things to work on, but he is still improving his game at just 26 years of age. If a team does decide to sign him to become their starter, they might just be getting an even more improved Collison than this past years stats.
Overall, it does appear that he would like to return to the Clippers if at all possible. The Clippers don’t have a ton of money to give him with all of the contracts that they’ve given out, so it likely won’t be the type of “lucrative deal” that will be looking for. That being said, the Clippers grew very close as a team as the above quote said, and that could be the deciding factor in where he chooses to sign this offseason.