On Tuesday, Woj dropped a bomb that Darren Collison is considering coming out of retirement and wants to play in LA. Here’s why the LA Clippers shouldn’t do it.
In case you missed it, Darren Collison wants to come back to the NBA, per Adrian Wojnarowski. What’s more, he’s targeting the Los Angeles Lakers and the LA Clippers as his preferred destination.
What Woj does not mention, however, is whether or not the Lakers and Clippers reciprocate that preference.
For the Clippers, it doesn’t make much sense to bring him in, either when considering his play on the court or his behavior off the court.
The obvious reason to not bring him in is his off-court history. In 2016, Collison was arrested for and pleaded guilty to domestic violence. For me, that’s enough to not sign him. The Clippers have built a culture around the team, and that culture does not include admitted wife-beaters.
That said, his play on the court doesn’t fit into the Clippers’ needs either. In 2018-19, his final year before retirement, Darren Collison posted a Defensive BPM of 0.0. For those unfamiliar, Defensive BPM is a measure of a player’s defensive performance, relative to league average. You want to be positive, and you don’t want to be negative.
That Defensive BPM of 0.0 put him in the same neighborhood that season as noted defensive studs Enes Kanter, Kent Bazemore, Terry Rozier, and 37-year-old Dwyane Wade. Notable players who performed better defensively that year were Kyrie Irving, DeMar DeRozan and Blake Griffin.
Oh, and did I mention? That was his career-best year for DBPM, by a wide margin.
So then the Clippers have to ask: do we bank on a player missing half a year and picking up on his one year fluke defensive performance? Or do we expect him to revert back to his averages, where he usually stayed around the level of Carmelo Anthony?
For the final nail in the coffin, Jovan Buha reports that the team would most likely cut Derrick Walton, Jr. to free up the roster spot. For a team already starved of draft assets, developing the young players we have is more important to me.
Collison can certainly shoot the ball well, and his court vision is something the Clippers need, but they don’t need it badly enough to take on all the downsides. If he were on our team, you have to assume that at almost all times, there will be at least one (often two) of Darren Collison, Lou Williams and Landry Shamet on the floor.
In the playoffs, that sounds like a recipe for the other team’s guards to have career nights. We already struggle enough trying to hide one offense-focused guard on defense. It’s not worth taking on someone with domestic violence issues just to allow us to try to hide two offense-focused guards on defense.