According to Comcast Sports Net Northwest, reserve Clippers point guard Darren Collison will decline his player option and become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Darren Collison of the Los Angeles Clippers will forgo the second year of his contract that would have paid him $1.9 million to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, a league source informed CSNNW.com.
The source’s response to our inquiry was, “Darren is definitely opting out.”
Signed for a cumulative deal of $3.8 million, Darren Collison was brought in to replace Eric Bledsoe as the reserve point guard following a trade that sent Bledsoe to Phoenix in return for J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley. The deal would reunite Collison with mentor in Chris Paul whom he played with during his rookie season in New Orleans.
Had Collison chose to accept his player option, Collison would have earned $1.9 million dollars, almost identical to his 2013-14 salary. But after averaging 11.4 points per game on 46 percent shooting and stepping up big when Chris Paul went down with injury, it’s almost a guarantee that he fetches a bit more than that in the open market.
This move was expected. As a fringe starter, Collison has shown his worth on and off throughout his NBA career. When he’s on, you see why the Indiana Pacers pushed him as their starting point guard, but when he’s struggling, you find it less shocking that Collison is on his fourth team in five career NBA season. He’s not the best outside shooter, nor is he a great playmaker or defender, but he’s found his worth in offenses that thrive on pushing the tempo and as the league’s overall pace up from the 2012-13 season, this creates more fits for Collison.
If Collison chooses not to return to the Clippers (it’s highly unlikely as money seems to be the reason behind the decline), Los Angeles will look to replace him either via free agency or the upcoming draft as the team holds the 28th overall pick. With Chris Paul and Blake Griffin being the teams two best playmakers, the need to have a top tier reserve at the point guard position isn’t needed. A few names that come to mind in regards to replacing Collison are Shabazz Napier (UCONN), Elfrid Payton (Grambling), Shaun Livingston (BKN), and many others.