The New Orleans Pelicans have given Jarron Collins the keys to the Las Vegas Summer League squad. The 2001 second-round draft pick lasted 10 seasons in the NBA and is now working up the coaching ranks much in the same way as Willie Green. Both come from assistant coaching jobs on championship benches.
Collins knows the grind and is learning more about getting the best development time for the team’s young prospects during the summer session. This short exhibition tournament is more about getting the first- and second-year pros more comfortable with their roles, not winning games at all costs.
The two-time Stanford All-American joined the last two years of the Stockton and Malone Utah Jazz era. Collins kept his roster spot for eight seasons before short stints with the Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, and LA Clippers. Collins started 17 of his 35 career playoff games.
Collins has won three NBA Finals rings as a coach, all with the Golden State Warriors between 2015 and 2018. He joined Willie Green’s staff in August of 2021 after seven years under Steve Kerr. Between the championship rings and over 2,000 career points as the 52na overall pick in his draft class, Collins will command the attention and respect of the summer league roster.
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Jarron can also help the team navigate off-the-court situations and craft proper responses to sensitive issues. There were several questions, from the awkwardly phrased to the flat-out unprofessional when twin brother Jason came out as the first openly gay active player in the NBA back in 2013.
As for this team going into the five-game slate, Collins says 2022 draftee Dyson Daniels, “provides so much versatility for us. We can use him in a multitude of ways quite frankly. As a primary handler, a secondary handler, at the end of the day he is a basketball player so he makes the next best play whatever that is. Like I said the other day, he plays at his own pace and is under control for the most part. After a week of practices and two-a-days, it’s time to see him against the other competition. Right now he is looking really good against our guys.”
Collins says 2022 second-round pick EJ Liddell “plays very physical, plays with a high motor. He’s someone who can finish at all three levels, pull up jumpers, knock down threes, can play out of the post. He does a really good job of making rotations defensively. He’s providing hustle and energy out that and that usually translates to him being in the right spots.”
Collins will try to get everyone in the right spots in Las Vegas. The team wants to learn but every player wants to win, especially at the professional level. The competition is intense and going by Naji Marshall’s make-shift summer league trophy from last season, the players do care about the outcome.
It will be tough to follow up on last summer’s undefeated campaign but Collins has the firepower to shoot the opposition out of the gym. Marshall will be joined by playoff-tested veterans Jose Alvarado and Trey Murphy III for at least one game. Dyson Daniels and EJ Liddell will get a boost from Birmingham Squadron starters Jared Harper and John Petty Jr. for the final few games. The team has the talent, Collins gets the first chance to coach the rookies in live-action situations.
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