John Collins Hopes to Sign New Contract with Hawks During 2021 NBA Free Agency

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJuly 5, 2021

ATLANTA, GA - JULY 3: John Collins #20 of the Atlanta Hawks shoots the ball during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks during Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on July 3, 2021 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images

John Collins is a restricted free agent this summer, but he's hoping to continue building a title contender in Atlanta.

“It’s something that I feel like I’ve voiced my opinion about a lot saying, that I want to be here," Collins told reporters Sunday. "... We’re going to have to come to a decision very soon, but hopefully, the best one for me is the one that keeps me here." 

While Collins may want the free-agency process to move quickly, he doesn't necessarily have the power in this case.

The Hawks could allow him to hit the open market and then match whatever offer he receives from another team. The restricted free-agent market tends to have a cooling effect because teams fear having their cap space tied up for days while waiting to see if the incumbent franchise matches the deal.

Teammate Clint Capela is on a below-market contract in part because the Houston Rockets did the same thing with him in restricted free agency. They ultimately agreed upon a deal four weeks into the free-agency period.

Collins is a productive big who shoots 40 percent from three and can block shots but isn't a particularly impactful defender. Capela's arrival raised questions about his long-term future in Atlanta, as did trade rumors ahead of the March 25 trade deadline.

That may all have changed due to the Hawks' surprising run to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Collins' scoring average declined during the playoffs, but the Hawks found a formula that worked. They played .700 basketball after installing Nate McMillan as their interim coach in March before the playoff run.

It's possible, if not likely, that the Hawks do everything in their power to run it back with this same group in 2021-22.