Jason Collins Signs with Brooklyn Nets for the Rest of Season

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIMarch 3, 2014

USA Today

Updates from Saturday, Mar. 15

According to ESPN's Mike Mazzeo, the Nets will sign Collins for the rest of the season:

Original Text

After his initial 10-day contract expires Tuesday, the Brooklyn Nets signed veteran center Jason Collins to another deal that will keep him with the team for an additional 10 days.    

The team confirmed previous reports of the deal on Wednesday, according to Rod Boone of Newsday:

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports broke news of the new contract Monday:

Collins has made headlines as the first openly gay NBA player in history, and he's been widely embraced around the Association by fans, fellow players and other representatives alike. Not long after inking his 10-day contract, Collins' jersey was the top seller on NBA.com, per BasketballInsiders.com's Alex Kennedy:

It has been interesting to see Collins play for the franchise where he spent his first six full seasons with former teammate Jason Kidd now his coach.

David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Kidd wasn't worried about the reaction Nets fans would have when Collins made his home debut on Monday, per the New York Post's Mitch Abramson:

I’ve always said I’m not worried about the reaction—I think they all will support a Net. He’s been a Net before (2001-08) and I think they’ll be excited to have him but the big thing is him being able to help us defensively and being the good character person that he is.

Offense has never been the 35-year-old Collins' strong suit, but as he continues to get his competitiveness and conditioning back, perhaps he can take on a slightly bigger role in the frontcourt. Collins averages under nine minutes a game and hasn't made a big impact on the court, but outside of aging forward Kevin Garnett, rookie Mason Plumlee and Andray Blatche, the Nets don't have many bodies up front.

That's been a big reason why Brooklyn ranks 29th in the NBA in rebounding. It remains to be seen if Collins can help in that regard; he can certainly help with his size in improving the team's interior defense, though.

The absence of injured center Brook Lopez has actually aided the chemistry and synergy of some of the Nets stars. However, help on the glass and on defense could still be used, and Collins has shown enough thus far to suggest to Brooklyn that he's worth keeping on the squad at least for now.