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Darren Collison hoping for invite to Lakers training camp

darren collison lakers

The non-saga between semi-retired point guard Darren Collison and the Los Angeles Lakers continues to ramble on.

Earlier this week, Anthony Slater of The Athletic reported that Collison — who hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since 2019 — is holding out hope for an invite to Lakers training camp, which begins on Sept. 28.

“Collison would be a bigger swing but a blinder bet. He hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since 2019 and is 34 … Those in the gym when Collison visited said he looked solid — in basketball playing shape and showing flashes of his former self in a pickup setting.

But nobody, in that brief of a glimpse, was comfortable predicting whether Collison would be anywhere near the player who averaged 11.2 points and 6.0 assists as a starting point guard on a Pacers team that made the 2019 playoffs … But if he is (or even if he isn’t), would he be willing to take a prove-it non-guaranteed camp invite? There’s also buzz he might be eyeing a Lakers camp invite.”

As Silver Screen and Roll’s Harrison Faigen aptly put it, Collison and the Lakers have been playing the “will they/won’t they” game for a couple of years now.

The SoCal native and former UCLA standout — who retired from the NBA for religious reasons — texted Matt Barnes in Feb. 2020 that he was “50/50” about returning to the hardwood. That week, he attended a Lakers game with Jeanie Buss and visited the Lakers’ locker room.

Earlier this month, Collison was spotted working out at the Lakers facility with the busiest assistant coach in America, Phil Handy. (Collison has also recently worked out for the Golden State Warriors, per Slater.)

Collison starred alongside Russell Westbrook for two seasons with the Bruins.

The Lakers have two spots remaining for training camp invites, as well as two open spots on the active roster for guaranteed contracts. By all accounts, the team would like to keep at least one spot free for a midseason buyout.

On Thursday, Los Angeles inked forward Cam Oliver to an Exhibit-10 contract.

Adding Collison to the Lakers’ roster would have made more sense prior to the signing of Rajon Rondo. Los Angeles is reportedly considering veteran big Kenneth Faried, who also hasn’t played in the NBA since 2019.

Of course, Collison could use camp and the preseason to audition for the rest of the league, should he commit to a return to the NBA.

Collison averaged 12.5 points and 5.0 assists per game across 10 seasons with the New Orleans Hornets, Indiana Pacers (two stints), Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers, and Sacramento Kings.