NBA veteran Darren Collison is one of the biggest remaining unsigned names in free agency right now.
The 34-year-old played for the Indiana Pacers, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers, and Sacramento Kings throughout his 10-year career, before ultimately retiring from pro basketball in 2019 for religious reasons.
Over the past few months, rumblings have arisen that he is plotting a return.
And it appears he knows where he wants to land.
According to Anthony Slater of The Athletic, Collison has his sights set on one specific team: the Los Angeles Lakers.
“Collison would be a bigger swing but a blinder bet. He hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since 2019 and is 34 … Those in the gym when Collison visited said he looked solid — in basketball playing shape and showing flashes of his former self in a pickup setting,” he wrote.
“But nobody, in that brief of a glimpse, was comfortable predicting whether Collison would be anywhere near the player who averaged 11.2 points and 6.0 assists as a starting point guard on a Pacers team that made the 2019 playoffs … But if he is (or even if he isn’t), would he be willing to take a prove-it non-guaranteed camp invite? There’s also buzz he might be eyeing a Lakers camp invite.”
In 2019, when Collison walked away, he easily could have commanded $10+ million annually in free agency. He was that good. While the jury is out on whether he still has anything left in the tank, this isn’t a case of someone past their prime returning to the game. He left when he still had a lot to give.
It’s also worth remembering that this isn’t the first time Collison has been linked to the Lakers.
The Lakers are currently being mentioned as candidates for one blockbuster move. If that fails to materialize, it wouldn’t be all that shocking to see them give Collison a look.