Pacers Season Reviews: Darren Collison

Darren Collison of the Indiana Pacers
Darren Collison of the Indiana Pacers /
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Darren Collison of the Indiana Pacers
Darren Collison of the Indiana Pacers /

Should the Pacers re-sign Darren Collison?

Collison and Cory Joseph are both unrestricted free agents this summer. It’s highly unlikely the coaching staff is ready to give the reigns to Aaron Holiday, but it’s doubtful that both of the Pacers point guards are re-signed this summer.

Collison would still be the most qualified to start next season of the three guards, however, we can’t rule out the chance of a move this off-season that could bring in an even better option.

DC was signed on a two-year/$20 million deal in the summer of 2017. A team needing another solid point guard, such as the Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets or Atlanta Hawks, could very well be willing to pay him a similar amount.

The Indiana Pacers will have around $40 million in cap space this offseason, but an upgrade at starting point guard would undoubtedly cost the team more than the $10 million Collison was making. Even in the scenario where a better point is acquired and Collison could be signed on a cheaper deal, that would restrict the minutes Holiday would have in the rotation next season. Seeing as it’s likely they want to expand his role in the rotation, having Collison come off the bench next season wouldn’t be conducive to that progression.

The one scenario where I can see Darren returning is if the team decided to make Victor Oladipo the primary ball-handler and pair a solid guard shooter in the backcourt with the starting lineup. If this were the case, Collison and Holiday could each come off the bench and rotate into the second unit.

The two, especially the former, have shown the ability to create their own basket in the pick & roll, as well as draining catch & shoot shots off the assist. In other words, neither has to be the primary ballhandler to get an open look. That’s perfect for two guys to play together, especially with a second unit.

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Nevertheless, Collison shouldn’t have a problem finding a team that can use his shooting and ball-handling efficiency. There are some teams where he could remain the starter and even more that would greatly benefit with him on a role off the bench.

I would be happy to see Darren Collison back next season, but it’s likely the front office decides to move on in favor of a younger, more impactful player. DC was a pleasant surprise in 2017-18 for a team projected to win 35 games, and a fun player to watch during his two stints with the Pacers. But as the team soars higher, it may be time for something new.