Darren Collison and the Los Angeles Lakers have more ‘will / won’t’ energy than most sitcom couples, and it all started when the veteran guard – didn’t play a game. the NBA since his abrupt retirement at age 31 in 2019 – was reportedly 50/50 upon exiting retirement to join the Lakers in 2020.
But after a roller coaster recruiting saga that saw the team welcome Collison for a visit to a game as an excited college prospect, sit him next to Governor Jeanie Buss and let him tour the locker room and talk to Anthony Davis, Collison ultimately chose to stay in retirement, later claiming he just wanted to watch a basketball game. We are a relatable king.
And with the Lakers still winning a title, we thought it was the end of the banter between the two sides … until this summer, when the Lakers hosted Collison for a practice session before apparently dismissing him. this time, opting to sign Rajon Rondo.
But Collison continued to be seen work on installing the Lakers with assistant coach Phil Handy, and according to The Athletic’s Anthony Slater, maybe it’s not just about staying alert. Because even though Collison also went to train for the Golden State Warriors, he might still be hoping to get a chance with the purple and gold (emphasis mine):
But no one in that brief rundown was comfortable predicting whether Collison would be close to the player who averaged 11.2 points and 6.0 assists as the starting point guard of a Pacers team. who made the 2019 playoffs. If he was, he would be a slam dunk in 15th place. But if he is (or even if he isn’t), would he be willing to accept an unsecured invitation to camp to prove it? There’s also the buzz that he might be considering an invitation to the Lakers camp.
With the recent addition of Cam Oliver, the Lakers currently have 18 players on their training camp roster of up to 20 players, so they could invite at least two more to camp. They also only have 13 guaranteed deals, so they still have room for two more players on guaranteed deals (although they would at least leave such a place open for the buyout market). But to make a long story short, they could indeed bring Collison to camp if they wanted to give him a longer audition to be on the roster with a guaranteed or unsecured deal.
Will it happen? It remains to be seen. Until Collison signs elsewhere, the possibility will be there, but the Lakers are also clearly reviewing all of their options, including working another vet who – like Collison – is trying to make Kenneth Faried a comeback. If the Lakers want backcourt insurance, Collison might not be a bad option, but the team already has a crowded backcourt, with running backs like Russell Westbrook, Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn and Rondo, not to mention how much LeBron James will have the Ball. Their spots can be better used elsewhere.
Still, given their long-standing ties to Collison, as well as Westbrook’s own relationship with him from their two years as teammates at UCLA, it’s not impossible to imagine the Lakers giving Collison another chance to join the team with an invitation to camp. As training camp approaches on September 28, expect the front office to continue evaluating its various options for these final two camp locations before finalizing the additions, but between those whispers and a simple reflection criticism, there are many reasons not to be shocked. so Collison at least ends up in a camp in Los Angeles.
Or maybe he won’t. After all, these two sides excel at getting exceptionally close to each other without ever meeting, so until the pen is put on paper, count on nothing. We’ll see what happens in the next episode of “As the Lakers turn (the end of their list).”
For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on itunes, Spotify, Stapler Where Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.