During last season, one of the players most commonly linked to the Los Angeles Lakers was Darren Collison. The veteran point guard is from Southern California and played college ball at UCLA. He abruptly retired from the NBA prior to last season at the age of 31.
There was plenty of chatter that he could be lured out of retirement to play for one of the two Los Angeles teams. Despite a lot of smoke around the idea of him joining the Lakers, he decided to stay retired and didn’t appear to entertain the idea of coming back this season. Interestingly enough, Collison was seen courtside during the Lakers’ Game 3 win against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center.
Collison never played for the Lakers so it’s interesting he’d attend a game. During last season, he attended a game and even had dinner with team governor Jeanie Buss. That led to a lot of speculation that he’d end up joining the team. That didn’t end up happening and he’s was likely just at the Lakers game to watch some basketball.
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Could Collison Aim for a Return to the NBA?
Despite being retired for the last two seasons, Collison is still just 33-years-old. He should have a few good years left in the tank, especially considering he just took two years off. Should the urge to play basketball again hit him, there would be plenty of teams vying for his services. However, he’s given no indication that he’s planning on coming back anytime soon.
Last year, he even made it clear that he never actually entertained the idea of coming out of retirement last year.
“To keep it 100, they overhyped the whole thing,” Collison said on the Minute Til 6 podcast. “Like, I wasn’t even thinking about coming back.”
He was just looking to watch some basketball.
“I just wanted to come watch the game as a fan.”
Collison played with Chris Paul during brief stints with the Los Angeles Clippers and New Orleans Hornets. In a likelihood, he just wanted to catch his old teammate play while he was in town. Until he says otherwise, Collison is staying retired.
Collison Could Be Solid Addition if Dennis Schroder Goes Elsewhere
This year, the Lakers didn’t need to make a push for Collison because they trade for Dennis Schroder in the offseason. Outside of a few bad games, Schroder has been an important player for Los Angeles. He’s going to be a free agent this offseason and is planning to test the waters. He’s expecting to get a contract in excess of $100 million.
That would be a steep price for the Lakers to pay considering they have other important free agents they’d like to retain. Should Schroder decide to sign elsewhere for more money, the team should give Collison a call. Obviously, he seems happy being retired but he has said he’d like to play with LeBron James one day. The Lakers star only has so many years left before he retires so Collison won’t have many chances to play with him. It would be a long shot but Los Angeles would be wise to go after Collison if Schroder walks.