The Denver Nuggets are reportedly interested in Indiana Pacers point guard Darren Collison, who is also under contract for next season.
Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt mentioned the potential pairing earlier today (via USA TODAY Sports):
“They have serious interest in the Indiana Pacers’ Darren Collison (12.8 points, 5.3 assists per game as a starter) but have, thus far, been rebuffed. Collison, whose Pacers (28-23) are fighting to hold onto a playoff spot, has a team option worth $10 million on his deal for next season.”
Collison, 30, is averaging a respectable 30.2 minutes per game and is also shooting a career-high 49.7 percent from the field. It’s unclear what Denver would offer in exchange for the veteran guard.
According to the report, Indiana is likely not going to part with him because they are in the middle of their own unexpected playoff pursuit. But if they’d land a decent asset back for the guard, it might not be the worst idea.
He is not the long-term solution in the backcourt to pair with 2018 NBA All-Star Victor Oladipo. But he is currently a good fit because of his low usage rate (17.7 percent) is much lower than the usage rate of Oladipo (30.0 percent) so far this season. This allows Oladipo to take over the offense while Collison can play the role of a distributor.
When the two are on the court at the same time, the Pacers have outscored opponents by 8.0 points per 100 possessions. This is the fourth-best mark in the Eastern Conference among two-man lineups who have played at least as many minutes as this duo.
Collison, however, is shooting 45-of-103 (43.7 percent) on above arc three-point attempts. This ranks No. 5 in the league among those who have had as many non-corner three-pointers.
The veteran is an above average spot-up shooter and scorer off screens. The Nuggets, meanwhile, have a low scoring frequency in the PnR offense.
If the front office in Denver decides to offer a realistic package for Collison, he would immediately take over as the starting point guard for the Nuggets over Jamal Murray and Emmanuel Mudiay.
He wouldn’t be a long-term fit for them either but could help them while they find a solution at point guard to match with Gary Harris in the backcourt.