For years, the Los Angeles Lakers chased after Darren Collison who abruptly retired from the NBA in 2019 despite him having several projected offers on the table in free agency. Collison cited religious reasons for his leave, leaving deals worth as much as $10 million annually.
The Lakers eventually got their man during the 2021-22 season when they lured Collison out of retirement and signed him to a 10-day contract via the NBA’s Hardship Exemption. Los Angeles had been hit with a rash of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, clearing the way for Los Angeles to bring in Collison as guard depth.
However, the veteran guard did not pan out the way the Lakers had hoped as he appeared in only three games during the length of his deal, averaging only 1.3 points, 1.3 rebounds and 0.7 assists per game. Collison was designated as inactive for the final two games of his 10-day contract and was subsequently let go after it ended.
However, Collison eventually found his way back to the organization although it came in the G League with the South Bay Lakers. In his first game with South Bay, Collison came off the bench and scored an efficient 12 points in 24 minutes of action. He was named a starter for their next game and scored 20 points in 27 minutes, though it may have cost him as he was later sidelined with hamstring tightness.
With Collison’s stint with the Lakers so short, there was not much room for him to contribute. His most productive outing came in his second outing with the franchise on the road against the Houston Rockets. Collison played over 14 minutes where he managed to score two points to go along with two rebounds and one assist.
While his NBA comeback did not go as planned, Collison managed to make an impact with the South Bay Lakers so at least he can hang his hat on that.
Collison could conceivably try to make an NBA roster should he continue to have strong showings in the G League, though chances look slim with another crop of rookies incoming. Physically, Collison still looks like he could play and he could possibly make for some decent depth should a team find itself in need of another guard.
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