Updates from Saturday, July 12
Collins announced that his deal is official on Twitter:
The Sacramento Kings landed one of the most intriguing free agents on the market Thursday, agreeing to a deal with point guard Darren Collison.
Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reported the news:
Free agent guard Darren Collison agrees to 3 year, $16 milion deal with Sacramento, sources, leaving the Clippers.— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) July 3, 2014
Collison's decision to sign in Sacramento means that his tenure with the Clippers was a short one. He was an excellent fit as Chris Paul's backup, and he was extremely productive when called upon by head coach Doc Rivers.
He was such an important piece to the puzzle that the Clips desperately wanted to bring him back despite the presence of CP3, per Arash Markazi of ESPN.com:
The Clippers are interested in bringing back Darren Collison, Glen Davis and Danny Granger, in that preferred order. Collison is a priority.— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) July 1, 2014
That feeling was mutual. Collison didn't get starting minutes while in Los Angeles, but his first choice was to remain with the Clippers if possible, according to Jack Wang of the Los Angeles Daily News:
My value went up. I understand that. But I don't want it to affect my decision with the Clippers. I want to be with the Clippers. Hopefully, the upper management can do something, figure something out, but I just think this is a good chance to be with a team for three or four years, try to do something special. I think the organization deserves it. The fans deserve it.
Unfortunately for the Clippers, Collison received an offer he simply couldn't pass up from Sacramento. Not only were the financial terms appealing, but he also figures to be a starter who will play key minutes throughout the next few seasons.
The Kings have plenty of talented players in place, but there was nobody capable of truly running the offense. With Collison now in the fold, that is no longer an issue, per Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:
The Kings fill desperate need for true point guard with veteran Darren Collison. @BA_Turner first broke story.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 3, 2014
Collison was extremely efficient and productive this season, as he averaged 11.4 points and 3.7 assists in just 26 minutes per game. With at least 10 more minutes per contest added to that next season, Collison's stat line should be even more impressive.
Which team should Darren Collison have signed with?
Despite being just 26 years of age, Collison's NBA existence has been nomadic in nature. This is already Collison's fifth team in what will be his sixth NBA season.
For the first time in his career, though, he finally has some security and certainty. With a long-term contract and the likelihood of a lot of playing time in place, Collison has found a home.
It won't be easy for the Kings to make noise in the Western Conference, but with shooting guard Nik Stauskas added via the draft and Collison now acting as the straw that stirs the drink, Sacramento could be a surprise playoff contender in 2014-15.
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