Add one more big name to the free-agent pool this summer.
Collison, 26, inked a two-year, $3.9 million contract with the Clippers last offseason, and was set to earn $1.9 million in the final year. Collison held a player option for his second season.
Per the source: “Darren is definitely opting out.”
Collison averaged 11.4 points, 3.7 assists, and 2.4 rebounds per game, and shot better than 46 percent from the floor as Chris Paul‘s backup. He averaged 26 minutes off the bench as the point guard of the Clippers’ second unit.
There is still a strong chance Collison returns to Los Angeles, according to the report, but he’ll likely want a richer deal. The Clippers are believed to Collison’s “preferred team of choice” because of the team’s bond. The team was drawn closer in the aftermath of embattled owner Donald Sterling’s recorded comments.
However, Collison is expected to keep his options open, which may mean a team that has attempted to acquire him recently could be back in play.
Prior to the February NBA trading deadline, he garnered interest from the New York Knicks, who again will be on the hunt for a point guard this offseason.
Phil Jackson and the Knicks are reportedly not sold on Raymond Felton running the offense after averaging a career-low 9.7 points per game last season. The Knicks attempted to ship Iman Shumpert to the Clippers in exchange for Collison, but no deal transpired because neither team wanted Felton. Unlike with the Clippers, Collison may have a shot to start in New York, and perhaps get paid like a starter.