Jason Collins isn't going anywhere.
The 35-year-old big man, who recently became the first openly gay player to suit up in the NBA, has only spent 18 minutes on the court through Feb. 26. But he's already expected to stick around for the remainder of the 2013-14 campaign.
"There's a strong push in the organization to hold on to Collins for the rest of the season," reported The Brooklyn Game's Devin Kharpertian after Collins' signing. "They've made a practice of not playing center Kevin Garnett in back-to-back games, increasing the need for depth at the center position."
Tim Bontemps has since confirmed the report for the New York Post, writing on Thursday, "Collins' 10-day contract expires early next week, but the Nets are all but certain to keep him for the rest of the season."
According to Kharpertian, team officials have made it perfectly clear that this is a basketball decision, not a publicity ploy.
"(It was) a basketball decision only," a team source told him. "I think we all understand the historic implications but that was an afterthought."
Thus far, Collins' play hasn't been anything spectacular. But it wasn't expected to be either, as he's been known as a big, able-bodied defensive player for the last few years of his career. Collins isn't anything more than an end-of-the-bench center who can provide the depth that the Nets are seeking.
He doesn't need to be anything more.
After all, Brooklyn has struggled to fill its frontcourt rotation throughout the season, especially when Garnett is forced to sit out on a maintenance day. That's the lone weakness in the rotation the team is trying to shore up by making this move.
With Brook Lopez out for the season, the only players capable of lining up at center are KG, Andray Blatche and Mason Plumlee. In other words, you're looking at a declining veteran who needs rest, an offensive standout playing out of position and an inexperienced rookie.
Is it any wonder Brooklyn feels it could use Collins throughout the rest of the season?
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