Over the last few weeks, the Los Angeles Lakers and LA Clippers have had their eyes on recently retired point guard Darren Collison. There have been rumblings that Collison is putting himself in the position to make a comeback for an 11th season. The Lakers and Clippers have been at the forefront of convincing him to unretire to compete for an NBA title. The two Los Angeles franchises have finally received clarity on what Collison plans to do for the rest of the 2019-20 season.
Darren Collison’s comeback rumors
The last several weeks have featured much attention on Collison as reports surfaced that he was considering an NBA Comeback after retiring last summer.
The initial news was that the 32-year-old was looking to be ready to go to play this season sometime in February, presumably after the All-Star break. That immediately threw both the Lakers and Clippers into the picture as the primary desired landing spots for the veteran point guard.
That dialogue continued to circulate well through the trade deadline this past Thursday’s deadline. It was believed the Lakers might have taken the upper hand as he sat next to team owner Jeanie Buss to watch the team take on the Houston Rockets.
It didn’t entirely pit out the Clippers as they have kept in close contact with Collison over the last few days, which ramped up dialogue that a decision could be near. The wait appears to be finally over as he has made up his mind on what he plans to do.
Darren Collison makes his decision
It was reported a few days ago that Collison would meet with both the Lakers and Clippers before making his decision.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, it appears that he has already made up his mind as he will stay retired as he didn’t believe the timing was right for a comeback. The expectation was that he was aiming to be back on the court by either February or March with either of the Los Angeles teams, but the quick turnaround was likely to short of a window for him to get back on the court.
That puts a viable option off the table for both teams as each were primed to make a strong push to land him to help give them that extra edge towards competing for an NBA title. However, this now changes things up a bit for franchises with their attention now going elsewhere to potentially improve their rosters this season ahead of the playoffs.
What will the Lakers, Clippers do next?
Between the two teams, the Clippers were active at the trade deadline that saw them acquire more frontcourt depth and shooting with the addition of Marcus Morris. That saw them move on from Terance Mann and Mo Harkless.
The Lakers were also rumored to have some keen interest in Morris, but the asking price was too steep as the Knicks reportedly wanted both Kyle Kuzma and Danny Green in return. Although the Clippers possess a viable backcourt, the addition of another guard may be in the books.
Meanwhile, the Lakers do possess a need to add another playmaking guard with Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley struggling to provide stability in that regard this season. The team is expected to work out veteran guard JR Smith in the coming days as he could provide more scoring to the mix.
The Lakers may explore the buyout market with names like Tyler Johnson, and Reggie Jackson could be names to watch. There should be some movement on the front for both Los Angeles teams to help their push towards competing for an NBA title.