Which NBA team might sign Jason Collins?

Let's contemplate which NBA team might sign Jason Collins

7/2/13 in NBA   |   JoeKukura   |   492 respect

Blog Photo - Which NBA team might sign Jason Collins?NBA teams aren’t erecting any billboards to lure Jason Collins, the league’s first openly gay player. After all, the guy is a 34-year-old journeyman who averaged 1.1 points and 1.6 rebounds per game last season. But it will be a watershed moment when someone signs Collins, and even more so the moment when he first enters an NBA regular season game in that team’s uniform. This will feed a frenzy of media coverage, so let’s just kick off the frenzy now with some marginally informed speculation on which team might sign Collins.

Collins can still play, in the sense that an NBA coach can feasibly put him in game. Recall that Collins saw fairly significant minutes (well, 17) in the Wizards’ final regular season game this year. If Ronny Turiaf and Joel Anthony belong in this league, Collins does as well.

So which team might take the plunge and add an openly gay player to their roster? At current, here are the likeliest candidates.

Blog Photo - Which NBA team might sign Jason Collins?New Jersey Nets - There are actual published reports that the Nets are interested in Jason Collins. These reports contain very little solid information, just an anonymous quote that Collins’ "name was brought up” by a "well-connected source". During the free agency period, that actually counts as journalism!

But Collins played alongside Nets rookie coach Jason Kidd, and was teammates with the Nets' fancy new acquisitions Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett last season. He remains on good terms with them all.

Los Angeles Clippers - New Clippers coach Doc Rivers also remains on good terms with Collins.

A division rival of whomever signs Dwight Howard - If Jason Collins can do one thing well, it's cover Dwight Howard.Collins had a particularly good series against Howard in 2011 when the Atlanta Hawks upset Howard's Orlando Magic. "That's the best defense I've seen all year on Dwight," then-Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said after Collins held Howard to a 4-for-17 outing.

None of these teams has expressed any outward or identifiable interest in Collins, so one cannot say with confidence that any of them will pursue him. It is a fairly safe bet, though, that the Utah Jazz will not pursue Collins. Team owner Gail Miller is a practicing Mormon, and the her late husband refused to screen "Brokeback Mountain" in movie theaters he owned. I don't figure the Jazz or their Utah fan base are in a hurry to establish a milestone for the gay community.
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