It’s been 862 days since Darren Collison stepped on an NBA court and played in a contest with real meaning. Now, the 34-year-old free agent point guard is looking to get back in the game and is eyeing the Golden State Warriors as a potential new team.
“Free agent guard Darren Collison will work out for the Golden State Warriors this week, sources tell @YahooSports,” senior NBA insider Chris Haynes tweeted early Monday afternoon.
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Collison’s last game in the Association came on April 21, 2019 with the Indiana Pacers, when he started and played nearly 33 minutes during the team’s 110-106 playoff loss to the Boston Celtics. The Celtics’ victory capped off a first-round sweep of the Collison and the Pacers.
In that game, Collison scored 19 points and added six rebounds, five assists and two steals. He shot 5-for-13 from the field, including 3-for-6 from distance, made all six of his free throw attempts and posted a team-high plus/minus of +10.
Former First-Team All-Rookie Led NBA in 3PT% 3 Years Ago, Retired in 2019
Following a four-year college basketball career at UCLA from 2005 to 2009 – which included two seasons with Russell Westbrook and one year with Kevin Love – Collison was selected 21st overall by the then-New Orleans Hornets in the NBA draft. The 6-footer played in 76 games – including 37 starts – during his rookie season, posting 12.4 points, 5.7 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 27.8 minutes per contest, and was named a first-team All-Rookie along with Stephen Curry, Tyreke Evans, Taj Gibson and Brandon Jennings.
Despite a solid first year in the league, Collison was traded to the Pacers in August 2010 as part of a massive deal involving four teams. Over the next two seasons with Indiana, Collison began to establish himself as an efficient three-point shooter and well-rounded point guard, helping lead the Pacers to back-to-back playoff appearances.
Collison was traded again during the 2012 offseason, this time to the Dallas Mavericks. After just one season with the Mavs, the California native signed with the Los Angeles Clippers.
As a part of “Lob City” with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, Collison helped L.A. drop the Dubs in the opening round of the 2014 Western Conference playoffs in a seven-game thriller. That immediately preceded the run of five straight trips to the NBA Finals for Golden State.
After one season with the Clippers, Collison signed with the Sacramento Kings and would stay with the club for the next three years. In the 2014-2015 campaign, Collison posted career-highs of 16.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.5 steals, while averaging 5.6 assists as well.
Collison spent the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 seasons back with Indiana. His three-point field goal percentage of 46.8% three years ago led the entire NBA, he ended his career with four consecutive seasons of shooting the three ball at a 40% or better clip, and he averaged double-digit points in all 10 seasons he played in the NBA.
Could Collison Be a Fit With the Dubs?
Collison announced his retirement on June 28, 2019, but it wasn’t for a lack of love of the game.
“While I still love basketball, I know there is something more important, which is my family and my faith,” Collison wrote. “I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and my faith means everything to me. I receive so much joy from volunteering to help others and participate in a worldwide ministry. The joy I feel is unmatched. With that being said, I have decided to retire from the NBA.”
NBC Sports Bay Area contributor Alex Didion thinks if Collison comes back into the league, he could be a good fit with the Dubs.
“Now 34, Collison could bring some additional veteran leadership to the Warriors’ bench and be a reliable backup to Steph Curry at the point,” Didion wrote. “The Warriors have one roster spot remaining going into this season, with Gary Payton II also being a prime candidate for that spot based on his strong Summer League performance and defensive ability. Depending on how Collison’s workout goes this week, he might end up being the recipient of that 15th and final roster slot.”