Reports: Sacramento Kings sign Darren Collison
The Sacramento Kings have reportedly added a veteran point guard to the mix. As first reported by the Los Angeles Times, the Kings have agreed to terms with Darren Collison on a three-year, fully guaranteed deal.
“The Kings were the most aggressive team by far in the free agency, and I respected that on all levels,” Collison said to the L.A. Times.
Various reports suggest that Collison’s deal with the Kings is worth approximately $15-16 million and is fully guaranteed. That would suggest that the Kings used close to or all of their mid-level exception sign the five-year veteran, who’s enjoyed stops in New Orleans, Indiana, Dallas and the Los Angeles Clippers.
What this means for the Kings’ pursuit of Isaiah Thomas is unclear. Thomas remains one of the NBA’s most sought after free agent point guards now that Kyle Lowry has re-signed with the Toronto Raptors. Sam Amick of USA Today reports that Collison signed with the Kings under the impression that he would be the team’s starting point guard. Many within the Kings organization feel Thomas is better suited in a role off the bench.
Adding Collison also brings the Kings’ payroll closer to the NBA’s projected luxury tax. With Collison’s deal on the books, the Kings would be roughly $2 million away from the $77-million threshold. If the Kings still hope to retain Thomas, they can create an estimated $8 million of wiggle room by using the stretch provision on both Travis Outlaw and Jason Terry.
“I will say this – we’re trying to undo something that’s been really difficult for the last for years for the city of Sacramento, the people of Sacramento,” Kings general manager Pete D’Alessandro said when asked about the signing of Collison during an appearance this morning on the Jim Rome Show. “We’re gonna make decisions that we have to make one way or the other in terms of putting the roster together. And these decisions are never easy.”
As a member of the Clippers last season, Collison served as the primary backup to All-Star . The 26-year-old veteran averaged 11.4 points, 3.7 assists and shot 46.7 percent from the field in 80 games with the Clippers. After being taken with the 21st pick in the 2009 draft, the Kings will be Collison’s fourth team in five years.