ROSEVILLE, CA - Darren Collison entered the offseason thinking he'd be returning to the Kings, but just three days into the free agency period, he's saying goodbye to Sacramento.
The 29-year-old Collison, who spent the last three seasons in the Capital City, has agreed to a two-year, $20 million contract with the Indiana Pacers.
After also drawing interest from the Clippers, Magic and Knicks, Collison said he never heard from his former Kings team.
"Nah, I didn't hear not one time from them; it was a bit disappointing," Collison told ABC10 on Monday night. "I wanted to stay. I was telling people that regardless of who they draft and what happened, I wanted to stay, I wanted to be part of this process to see this thing through. Didn't hear from them, not one time, so we had to move on. Time was ticking and we kind of had to make a decision."
The Kings have met with several free agents since the negotiating period opened on July 1, but thus far have been unsuccessful in landing any. They've also watched players from last year's roster like Langston Galloway and Ben McLemore agree to terms with other teams.
Galloway agreed to a three-year deal worth $21 million with Detroit and McLemore went to Memphis on a two-year deal valued at $10.7 million.
The Kings would like to land a veteran point guard to put with their rookie De'Aaron Fox, their top draft pick out of Kentucky from last month's NBA Draft, and Frank Mason III who they selected in the second round out of Kansas.
Despite not hearing from the Kings' brass, Collison said he holds no harsh feelings towards the organization. He even encouraged fans to be excited for the team's young future and continue to support the team.
"Right now I think you can start seeing that the organization is starting to turn-around and do something special," he said. "I'm most excited about that. Keep supporting these guys, they're really going to need it."
When asked about what he'd miss about Sacramento, Collison, an eight-year NBA veteran who has played in four other cities, gushed about the fan support he experienced during his time with the Kings.
"I never thought I'd even come close to being around the fans I've been around the past three years," Collison said. "I truly mean that with all my heart. Amazing fans - amazing. They come out every single night and we didn't have the best of seasons the last three years, but it was almost sold out every single night, which is kind of encouraging.
"No matter where I'd go, the fans would always showed love and support and I'll never forget that. I'll always have respect and love for these fans and the city. I'm always going to miss it out here."
During his time in Sacramento, Collison averaged 14.2 points, 4/7 assists and 2.5 rebounds per contest and started 124 of his 187 games with the Kings.
Collison returns to the Pacers after two seasons in Indiana under head coaches Jim O'Brien and Frank Vogel from 2010-12.
Follow Sean Cunningham on Twitter: @SeanCunningham
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