Free agent center Jason Collins might indeed become the first out gay player to suit up for an NBA team, as the Brooklyn Nets are reportedly "giving strong consideration" to signing him to a 10-day contract, according to Ohm Youngmisuk and Marc Stein of ESPN.
Collins had a private workout with the Nets in Los Angeles this week, and Brooklyn did not end up making a rumored deal to acquire big man Jordan Hill from the Los Angeles Lakers before Thursday's 3 p.m. ET trade deadline. Nets center Brook Lopez is out for the season with a broken foot and, though big man Kevin Garnett has been excellent since switching to center, the 37-year-old does not like to play that position. Collins could take some of the pressure off of him.
Brooklyn general manager Billy King confirmed that the team worked out Collins and commented on a potential signing, via the New York Post's Tim Bontemps:
Billy King on possibility of signing Collins: "We’re going to bring in a basketball player. It’s not about marketing or anything like that."— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) February 20, 2014
More Billy King on Collins: "If we’re bringing somebody in, we’re bringing them in because we feel they can help our basketball team."— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) February 20, 2014
According to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, who tweeted earlier on Thursday that Collins was working out in Bel Air, the Los Angeles Clippers also have interest in signing him.
The 35-year-old Collins was in "the best shape of his life" according to his twin brother, Jarron, in October, but no NBA team has elected to sign him. He last took the court as a member of the Washington Wizards last April.