Hawks' John Collins Reportedly 'Has Grown Increasingly Frustrated' with Role in ATL

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 10, 2022

Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins (20) dunks during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers in Los Angeles, Friday, Jan. 7, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
AP Photo/Ashley Landis

Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins has reportedly become "increasingly frustrated" with his role on the team. 

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported Collins has been vocal in the locker room regarding what he perceives as a lack of team basketball.

"I've banged my head on the wall a couple of times trying to figure it out myself. There's really no excuse," Collins said of the Hawks' defensive struggles after Atlanta lost to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, per Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. "All I can say is it's unacceptable and we have to dig down and do the things necessary to win or this is going to be the result every night."

Collins is averaging 17.5 points and 7.9 rebounds per game this season, mirror images of his 2020-21 stats. That said, his per-minute usage has dipped for the third straight season even though the big man is shooting a career-high 42.7 percent from three-point range.

The Hawks (17-22) are among the NBA's biggest disappointments after a surprising run to the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals. Collins inked a five-year, $125 million contract with Atlanta in August. The deal was an eye-opener given he hasn't reached All-Star status, but the Hawks focused on retaining their core this offseason to build what they perceived as a burgeoning young power.

Collins' disenchantment with his role could make him a prime trade candidate. Charania mentioned the Hawks as a potential fit for disgruntled Sixers star Ben Simmons, who is yet to play this season after a falling-out with the organization.

Collins isn't a great fit for the Sixers roster, but his cap hold could be flipped to a third team as part of a larger deal that nets Philadelphia the star it desires in return for Simmons.