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John Collins Rumors: Hawks, PF 'Are Not Close' on New Contract Ahead of Free Agency

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIAugust 3, 2021

AP Photo/Aaron Gash

The Atlanta Hawks and restricted free-agent forward John Collins reportedly aren't close to an agreement, Shams Charania of Stadium reported on Monday:

Shams Charania @ShamsCharania

Latest on Atlanta Hawks and restricted free agent John Collins: <a href="https://t.co/FP4NemyiDi">pic.twitter.com/FP4NemyiDi</a>

"I'm told John Collins and the Atlanta Hawks are not close to an agreement," Charania said. "And that might come to a surprise to a lot of people, because John Collins is a restricted free agent. But as of right now, there is not really a momentum toward that as of yet."

Collins averaged 17.6 points and 7.4 rebounds per game for the Hawks, who reached the Eastern Conference Finals after making the playoffs as a No. 5 seed.

He's played four seasons in Atlanta, who took Collins with the No. 19 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft out of Wake Forest.

Collins has been an integral part of the Hawks' franchise rebuild after Atlanta broke apart its successful mid-2010s team at the end of its run.

Hawks point guard Trae Young has served as the team's top star, but Collins has been very impressive alongside the floor general. He notably averaged a double-double in 2019-20 (21.6 points, 10.1 rebounds).

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Collins didn't hit those numbers in 2020-21 in part because the Hawks added big man Clint Capela, who helped take some of the scoring and rebounding burden off the ex-Demon Deacon in the frontcourt.

The 23-year-old power forward was still very efficient, registering a player efficiency rating of 20 or more for the third straight year, per Basketball Reference.

Collins is landing a massive deal this offseason, whether it's with the Hawks or another team looking to pry him away from Atlanta.

Teams have already begun negotiating with free agents and can officially sign them to contracts on Friday.

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