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Pistons interested in C Collins

The SportsXchange

The Detroit Pistons are interested in signing free agent center Jason Collins, according ESPN.com.

The two sides have talked but no offer has been made, according to the report.

In April, Collins became the first openly gay active athlete in North American major sports history.

Collins, a 12-year veteran, has not received much interest from teams since free agency began six weeks ago, but that may have more to do with his performance in recent seasons than his sexual orientation.

In 2010, Collins did not sign with the Atlanta Hawks until he reached a one-year deal in September. The following season, he re-signed with the Hawks just days after the lockout was lifted. Last season, he did not sign a one-year deal with the Boston Celtics until August.

The 34-year-old played 38 games last season with the Celtics and Washington Wizards but averaged just 1.1 points and 1.6 rebounds in 10.1 minutes per game.

"I look at it, honestly, like any other free agency in the past several years, where I know I have to stay patient," Collins told the New York Times in May. "And I know that at this point in my career, you remain hopeful that there's a job and an opportunity waiting for you once teams start to fill out their rosters."

After Collins revealed that he is gay, only six of 14 teams surveyed by ESPN.com said they expected Collins to be on an NBA team this season. The other eight teams expressed some doubt, citing Collins' age and questions about his ability to be a productive on-court contributor -- not because of his sexual orientation.

"The reality is that he's been an end-of-the-roster kind of player for the last couple years," one Western Conference executive said.

Collins has not averaged more than 15 minutes per game since 2007-08. For his career, he has averaged 3.6 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.

"I don't think he was going to be in the league next season no matter what," one general manager said. "I don't think (sexual orientation) is the issue. I think 'Can he still play?' is the issue."

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