Old Team: Dallas Mavericks
New Team: Los Angeles Clippers
Best Case Scenario: Darren Collison will flourish as the backup to the league’s best point guard Chris Paul, much like he did during his 2009-10 rookie season. Collison played in 76 games, starting 37 while Paul was out with an injury. The UCLA product averaged 12.4 points, 5.7 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 27.8 minutes per game. He shot a career-high 47.7% from the field, a career-high 40.0% from three and 85.1% from the free throw line. If things work out, Collison will match or improve upon his rookie shooting numbers and again become the efficient player he was during the 2009-10 season. Under new head coach Doc Rivers will focus on Collison’s defense and he will greatly improve that area of his game.
Worst Case Scenario: Collison will look like the player the Indiana Pacers acquired in 2010 and were ultimately disappointed. He will again regress to shooting to below 45.0% from the field and 35.0% from three. Collison will struggle to the Clippers’ second unit and Rivers will only be able to play him for short stretches. Paul will have to carry a heavy load and wear down by the time the postseason starts.
What Will Really Happen: Collison is a fantastic situation so he will come closer to matching the best case scenario than he will the worst case. On a contract worth only $1.9 million over two years, Collison should be motivated to improve under Rivers. Collison should do a good job of leading what should be a very good second unit filled with veterans like forward Antawn Jamison and guard Jamal Crawford and younger players like rookie swingman Reggie Bullock.
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