Free-agent point guard Darren Collison has agreed to a three-year, $16-million deal with the Sacramento Kings, leaving the Clippers after playing one season in Los Angeles.
Collison’s deal is fully guaranteed, according to NBA executives who were familiar with the agreement but not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
Collison had opted out of a contract that would have paid him $1.985 million next season, looking for a bigger payday from the Clippers that never came.
“The Kings were the most aggressive team by far in the free agency, and I respected that on all levels,” Collison told The Times in a phone interview Wednesday. “Of course, I was trying to make it work with the Clippers and tried to re-sign with them. But I didn’t think they really made me their first priority like the Kings did.”
Collison was the backup point guard to all-star Chris Paul but was a force for the Clippers, playing in 80 games.
Collison started 18 games when Paul was out with a separated right shoulder, leading the Clippers to a 12-6 record and keeping them afloat in the tough Western Conference.
Collison, who went to UCLA and Etiwanda High, said he had wanted to remain with the Clippers.
He has a chance to become a full-time starter with the Kings.
“Once I understood that the Clippers had other plans, as far as trying to sign a wing player first, then I knew that the Kings were the next best option,” Collison said. “It wasn’t something that was in my back pocket.
“It was going to be either the Clippers or the Kings. And if you look at the Kings and what the future can have, once you put it together, we can be something really special.”
[Updated at 11:27 a.m.: With Collison gone to the Kings, the Clippers have turned to unrestricted free-agent point guard Jordan Farmar as one possible replacement.
The Clippers have had conversations with Farmar about playing for them, and he is interested, according to executives.
Farmar played in just 41 games last season with the Lakers, averaging 10.1 points and 4.9 assists.]
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