Los Angeles Clippers 2013 NBA Player Profile: Darren Collison

By Kyle Lopez
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Darren Collison didn’t have quite the season in the NBA he or the Dallas Mavericks thought he would. Last year the point guard averaged 12.0 points, 2.7 rebounds and 5.1 assists a game.

The Mavericks expected more out of the four year veteran, but things never seemed to click. There was even a stint where Dallas brought in 37-year-old Derek Fischer to start at point guard. Needless to say, that wasn’t a good sign.

It wasn’t a shock that the Mavericks let Collison walk in free agency, but it was a little strange to see the Los Angeles Clippers grab him for such a cheap price. Collison agreed to a deal worth $1.9 million in his first year, and a second year player option worth almost $2.0 Million.

Now he is right back to where he started four years ago, backing up superstar Chris Paul. The only difference now is that they are in Los Angeles instead of New Orleans.

So how will Collison fare after unsuccessfully trying to run his own team and going back to leading the bench? Obviously he must be willing to play a bench role, since he signed up with a team with Chris Paul.

With that in mind, Collison really has a chance to thrive as the leader of the 2nd unit. If he truly embraces his role, he will be productive.

Because he will be playing bench minutes, he will be going against opposing teams’ bench most of the time. Collison is easily in the top five best back-up point guards in the league. Also, with the Clippers’ great depth this year, he will have great teammates around him at all times.

Even though Collison can suffer from some pretty bad tunnel vision, he is still a pretty good play maker. He has a great handle and can make good passes off the dribble. Besides that, he can also knock down shots.

On the defensive side of the court Collison doesn’t have much value; he is too small and lacks defensive tangibles. This would be awful for a starter, but for a team’s point guard off the bench it’s not too bad.

With an already heavy bench, it’s a little hard to say just how prominent Collison’s role will be on this Clipper team. They already have Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes and newly signed rookie Reggie Bullock taking up minutes at the perimeter positions.

The crazy thing is, is that if Crawford and Barnes have similar seasons to what they did last year; they could very well be in the 6th man of the year hunt. Collison has his shortcomings, but he could join both of them in that conversation this upcoming season.

Kyle Lopez is a Golden State Warriors writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @_KL9_, or follow him on Google.

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