Free agent profile: Jason Collins
This is the 46th post in a series of free-agent profiles that analyzes players and how they might fit in with the Lakers.
Atlanta Hawks center Jason Collins
Type of free agent: Unrestricted
Positives: He became an integral part of Atlanta's first-round upset over the Orlando Magic by playing tough defense on Dwight Howard. That included making Howard earn his points and drawing fouls, limiting the Magic's perimeter shooting and his willingness to play physical. The seven-foot Collins isn't going to command heavy minutes, but it's valuable to have his him when the Lakers play teams with elite centers, such as Orlando. Collins also brings plenty of playoff experience, including NBA Finals appearances in 2002 and 2003 with the New Jersey Nets.
Negatives: Collins' career averages of 3.9 points on 41.2% shooting shows he doesn't really have many offensive moves. The Lakers would also better address adding insurance for Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol by acquiring someone younger than a 10-year veteran.
Verdict: Before the NBA lockout, the Atlanta Journal Constitution's Michael Cunningham talked to Hawks General Manager Rick Sund, who indicated he wants to resign Collins. But that direction would happen only if Collins was content with playing a backup position. He wouldn't have a bigger responsibility than the Lakers, but they'd have more leverage because of their talent to convince him to embrace that role.
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