The Brooklyn Nets are targeting free-agent center Jason Collins, the first openly gay player in NBA history, to return to the franchise, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
As the Nets bring Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry into the franchise via trade, the Nets need proven, dependable role players available at the veteran's minimum price.
Collins, 34, has close relationships with new Nets coach Jason Kidd and top assistant Lawrence Frank. They were together for seven successful seasons with the Nets when Frank was a coach, Kidd was the point guard and Collins provided a physical, defensive presence.
There's reason to believe that he'd have a strong comfort level returning to an organization that knows him well and values his tough, defensive-minded sensibilities.
Collins made public his sexuality in May, and wherever the first openly gay team player in major North American sports history decides to play promises to bring a level of scrutiny. The intensity of the story lines with the Nets – Kidd as coach; Garnett and Pierce as fading stars in a final championship push – would likely make Collins' personal life less of an everyday public focus.