Just months after he announced his surprise retirement, Darren Collison is apparently ready to get back into the league.
Collison is considering making a return to the NBA in February, and eyeing both the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers as his “preferred destinations,” according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Any return he does make, though, is “unlikely” to happen before the trade deadline on Feb. 6.
Collison announced his retirement just before free agency last summer in a letter posted to The Undefeated, saying he wanted to focus on life after basketball. According to Wojnarowski, he was on track to make up to $12 million per year on the free agent market before calling it quits.
“While I still love basketball, I know there is something more important which is my family and my faith. I am one of Jehova’s Witnesses and my faith means everything to me,” Collison wrote in June, in part. “I receive so much joy from volunteering to help others and participate in a worldwide ministry. The joy I feel is unmatched.”
Collison, who was selected by the New Orleans Hornets in the first round of the 2009 draft, spent his last two seasons in the NBA with the Indiana Pacers. He averaged 11.2 points and six assists in more than 28 minutes per game, starting in every appearance he made last season.
The 32-year-old has played for the Pacers, Clippers, Dallas Mavericks Sacramento Kings throughout his 10-year career, too.
Collison’s interest in both Los Angeles teams makes a lot of sense, given that he both grew up in the Los Angeles area and played at UCLA. Both the Lakers and the Clippers — two teams that are among the favorites to win the championship this season — will likely engage in a recruiting battle to land Collison in the coming months.
Collison’s history with the Clippers could serve as an advantage for that organization, too, as he played for coach Doc Rivers during the 2013-14 season. His familiarity with Rivers could prove helpful down the road, especially if they are to make a deep playoff run.
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