It’s February 3rd, as the NBA’s Trade Deadline quickly approaches. It’s on Thursday, February 6th this year, as you started to see many rumors start to pop up this morning following everyone’s Super Bowl parties last night. The Lakers haven’t been heavily involved in the rumors today, although Rob Pelinka expects to at least be fielding and making calls. Things have mostly been quiet with the Lakers on the trade front due to the organization trying to recover from the stunning death of Kobe Bryant last Sunday. However, they were slightly talked about in reports and rumors this morning, with one name popping up that can be signed outright instead of being traded for. That, of course, is Darren Collison who might come out of retirement.
On the most recent episode of “The Woj Pod” that featured Adrian Wojnarowski and Bobby Marks of ESPN, Wojnarowski brought up Collison and how the Lakers and the Clippers could potentially be getting Collison in a pseudo-buyout market.
Here’s everything he had to say about the former Indiana Pacers guard who has been rumored to return to the Lakers or Clippers already (transcribed by Harrison Faigen and Silver Screen & Roll):
“They’ve wanted a secondary playmaker. Whether they can find that in a trade, whether they wait for Darren Collison to say ‘I’m definitely coming back.’ … I’m told that he’d absolutely like to play in L.A., either Lakers or Clippers, so you treat him a little bit like part of the buyout market, because I don’t think he’s going to be ready to do that until post All-Star game, or at least around All-Star break anyway. So that’s kind of in their back pocket, they can try to bring Collison out if there’s not a trade.”
This puts the Lakers in an opportune spot, albeit a risky one. If they just bet on being able to get Collison, then they could forego trading Kyle Kuzma for a new player before the deadline and instead just figure out a roster spot to add Collison to the team. However, it could backfire on them as Collison could end up staying in retirement or, even worse, go to the Clippers. Doing so would more than likely leave the Lakers with the same roster they currently have, which is a very impressive roster, but is also one that has been exposed by the likes of the Clippers, Bucks, and Celtics.
Darren Collison wouldn’t solve all of the Lakers’ problems, but he might address one of the biggest ones: a needed shot-creator that isn’t named LeBron James. No one has been able to fill that role this season consistently, with the Lakers bench units seeming extremely stagnant in times on the offensive end. The Lakers could also address this problem by trading for Derrick Rose, but Collison is easily a much cheaper option due to his unique free-agent position.
Stay tuned with us for more trade rumors this week, as this won’t be the last time the Lakers’ name pops up.