While the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers figure out what moves they want to make both before and after the 2019-20 NBA trade deadline, it feels like a near certainty that one of them will be able to land Darren Collison.
Collison, who became a free agent in the 2019 NBA offseason, opted to retire instead of sign with a team despite the fact that he could’ve gotten offers as high as $10 million per season.
However, after a few months of retirement, it was revealed Collison may be looking to return to the NBA and that his choice would be between the Lakers and Clippers. This likely caused a change in plan for the Lakers who were already looking into backup point guard options.
Now, Collison reportedly will be making his decision between the two Los Angeles teams after the 2020 NBA All-Star Weekend, according to Sean Deveney of Heavy.com:
This week, a source told Heavy.com that Collison will weigh his options after the All-Star break and make a decision on a return then. He has remained in NBA-ready game shape and would be able to return to the court quickly once he signs.
Collison is also reluctant to leave Southern California, making it even more likely that he’ll end up with either the Lakers or Clippers:
Collison, a native of Southern California who went to UCLA, does not want to leave the area. He would prefer to sign with either the Lakers or the Clippers—and both teams need an added playmaker.
This decision is likely one that a number of buyout candidates will make by the end of the season as the Lakers and Clippers are both premier destinations at this point. They’re both championship contenders stationed in Los Angeles who each have holes on the roster that need to be filled.
If Collison decides prior to the buyout market being set, his decision could be a tone-setter for those players who want to choose between the two teams after him.
The Lakers and Clippers are both in need of a secondary ballhandler and playmaker, so it will be up to Collison where he feels his championship odds are the best.