LOS ANGELES — Not even a week after dealing Eric Bledsoe to the Suns in a three-team trade, the Clippers have found his replacement.
On Saturday evening, the team agreed in principle to sign former UCLA star Darren Collison to a reported two-year, $1.9 million deal. Collison will have a player option in the second season of the contract.
Matt Barnes, who agreed to re-sign with the Clippers on Friday, confirmed the signing in a tweet.
Collison, 25, was the 21st pick in the 2009 draft, and he spent his rookie season as Chris Paul’s backup in New Orleans, a role he will assume once again in Los Angeles. He then spent two seasons with the Pacers as their starting point guard before playing last season in Dallas, where he started 47 of the 81 games in which he played and averaged 12.0 points and 5.1 rebounds.
The Clippers used the remainder of their mid-level exception to sign Collison to what may be the biggest steal of a contract given this summer. The point guard made $2.3 million in 2012-13, more in one season than he stands to make over the two in his new deal. However, after Collison struggled in Dallas last year, it’s reasonable to believe that the appeal of returning home to California and filling a familiar role was worth the pay cut.