Throughout the 2019-20 NBA season, it has become apparent the Los Angeles Lakers could improve at point guard when LeBron James rests.
While the Lakers still have the best record in the Western Conference by three games, there are concerns about them not being able to sustain leads.
Unfortunately, the 32 year old reportedly has decided he will not come out of retirement for his 11th season, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Veteran guard Darren Collison has decided that he won’t return to the NBA this season and plans to stay retired, league sources tell ESPN. Lakers and Clippers had been courting him, but Collison has informed teams that the timing isn’t right for him.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 9, 2020
Prior to the start of 2019 NBA free agency, Collison shockingly retired despite him likely getting offers in the $10-12 million range. However, a couple months later, there were numerous reports of him considering a return.
With Collison previously expected to make a decision in mid-February, there was optimism as he attended the Lakers-Houston Rockets game following the 2019-20 NBA trade deadline. However, he downplayed the significance.
As the Lakers did not make any trades, Collison was viewed as an upgrade if he ultimately chose them over the Los Angeles Clippers. His decision to not return is another surprise and the Lakers will have to look elsewhere now.
With the March 1 buyout deadline near, it is unclear if any player that addresses the team’s needs will be available. Along with a point guard, Los Angeles could use a wing defender to make a 2020 NBA Finals run.
Since this is unfortunate news, head coach Frank Vogel may have to work with what he already has. While Rondo is well respected in the locker room, Caruso and/or Cook taking his minutes should be heavily considered.