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NBA Free Agency: Clippers Agree to Two-Year Deal With Darren Collison

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Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

According to Marc Stein of ESPN, the Clippers have reached an agreement with Darren Collison. Collison will get the rest of the Clippers' mid-level exception on a two-year deal that has a player option for the second year.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Darren Collison, I&#39;m told, is going to the Clippers. Done deal. Two-year deal, player option in Year 2</p>&mdash; Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) <a href="https://twitter.com/ESPNSteinLine/statuses/353687967266639872">July 7, 2013</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Clippers agree to a 2 year deal with Darren Collison, sources.</p>&mdash; Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) <a href="https://twitter.com/BA_Turner/statuses/353688923295326209">July 7, 2013</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Collison gets rest of Clippers midlevel exception, sources said</p>&mdash; Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) <a href="https://twitter.com/BA_Turner/statuses/353689096943714305">July 7, 2013</a></blockquote>

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This gives Collison the remaining 1.55 million or so (that's according to my math: the MLE is worth a total of 5.15M and Matt Barnes got 3.6M according to Hoopsworld. Sam Amick reports that the deal is worth 1.9 million, but I don't see how that could be worked.) after the Matt Barnes signing yesterday. Collison averaged 12.6 points, 5.7 assists, and 2.9 rebounds in 31.4 minutes a game in his 47 starts for the Dallas Mavericks last season. Off of the bench, he averaged 11.1, 4.3, and 2.4 in 26.4 minutes a game in 34 games.

Darren came out of UCLA four years ago, and spent his rookie season backing up Chris Paul in New Orleans. Since then, he's played for the Pacers and Mavericks, starting over two-thirds of the games so far in his NBA career. After losing his starting spot in Dallas mid-season to the one and only Mike James (he lost his spot to Mike James- that's scary), his value is fairly low this summer, allowing the Clippers to pick up the 25-year old for cheap.

Collison will fill the backup point guard role on the Clippers that Eric Bledsoe played before he was traded for J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley.

Now, the Clippers depth chart looks like this:

Point Guards Chris Paul Darren Collison Maalik Wayns
Shooting Guards J.J. Redick Jamal Crawford Willie Green
Small Forwards Jared Dudley Matt Barnes Reggie Bullock
Power Forwards Blake Griffin DaJuan Summer Brandon Davies
Centers DeAndre Jordan --- ---

The Clippers are really, really solid on the perimeter now. What they need to do in the coming days is add some quality backup big men. I wouldn't be surprised if DaJuan Summer's non-guaranteed deal is waived soon. It's nothing personal, but his contract is worth more than fellow unguaranteed reserve Maalik Wayns, and Summer plays SF/PF, where the Clippers are deeper. Summer's deal actually has a slightly greater cap hit than a veteran's minimum deal, so it seems silly to keep him on the roster as the Clippers dance around the tax line.

Look for the Clippers to try to bring back Lamar Odom and Ryan Hollins or Ronny Turiaf. I also expect them to explore their options in using either their TPE or a veteran's minimum contract to add a better third big. The roster's almost full, and it's coming together nicely.

This also likely marks the departure of Chauncey Billups from the Clippers.... and while I like Mr. Big Shot and wish him the best, it's probably good for the Clippers that he won't be on the court next season.

P.S., per Ramona:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/ESPNSteinLine">@ESPNSteinLine</a> believe Barnes took less so Clips could do this</p>&mdash; Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) <a href="https://twitter.com/ramonashelburne/statuses/353693808845791233">July 7, 2013</a></blockquote>

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