The Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves are expected to be among the teams to pursue restricted free agent John Collins this summer.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reported those four teams could target Collins with an offer sheet to lure him from Atlanta. The Hawks will have the opportunity to match any offer given to Collins, but it remains to be seen if they're willing to meet open-market prices.
Charania reported Collins may have played his way into max-contract status, which would be $125.9 million over four years for a non-Hawks team. Collins has been open about his desire for a max deal, saying the Hawks especially should reward him for his improvement.
"When we're talking max numbers and money, I feel like I definitely [am in] the conversation to have earned that money with the Hawks specifically, but obviously I know there's business and we don't always get exactly what we want," Collins said in May, per Sarah K. Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "But I want to be a Hawk. I want to stay with the Hawks.
The conversation regarding Atlanta's willingness to pay Collins the max may have changed after the Hawks' surprising run to the Eastern Conference Finals. It would not be a surprise if management emphasized talent retention no matter the cost. The Hawks would also likely struggle to replace Collins if they allowed him to walk, so this may be a matter of the team having to match any offer sheet he receives.
It's unlikely that Collins is a top priority for any of the teams mentioned in free agency; he's almost certainly a backup in case they miss out on bigger stars on the open market. Collins' free agency may wind up lasting well past the first week of August as he tries to maximize his value.