John Collins Trade Rumors: Hawks May Make PF Available If They 'Don’t Start Jelling'

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 16, 2022

Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon, left, defends against Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins (20) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Hakim Wright Sr.)
AP Photo/Hakim Wright Sr.

After five straight losses dropped the Atlanta Hawks to 17-25 on the season, the team could begin dealing some of their top talent.

Quoting a league source, Marc Berman of the New York Post reported that in spite of his recently signed long-term deal, Collins "could be made available in the future if the Hawks don't start jelling."

Collins signed a five-year, $125 million extension before the start of the season, but he became eligible for a trade Saturday. The Hawks could make a trade in the effort to find a better fit after failing to meet expectations halfway through the 2021-22 season.

Atlanta reached the Eastern Conference Finals a year ago after going 41-31 in the regular season.

The Hawks have especially struggled defensively, ranking 28th in the league in efficiency. 

Collins is not the only problem on that end of the floor, although it's certainly not his strength. In five seasons, the forward has 20.4 offensive win shares and only 6.8 defensive win shares, per Basketball Reference. His box plus-minus is plus-2.1 per 100 possessions on the offensive end and minus-0.6 defensively during his career, while the 2021-22 numbers are similar (plus-2.3 on offense and minus-0.3 on defense).

With Collins' 20.0 usage rate his lowest since his rookie season, both sides could be looking for a fresh start.

There would still be plenty of teams lining up to add a player averaging 17.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game on the season, especially with his 54.3 field-goal percentage and 44.3 three-point percentage.

NBA reporter Marc Stein recently named the Dallas Mavericks as having interest in Collins, while Berman indicated the New York Knicks could be a landing spot.

To his credit, Collins remains dedicated to the Hawks. 

"This is where I want to be," the forward told Chris Kirschner of The Athletic.

Atlanta still seems poised to explore any opportunity to improve the roster after a disappointing start.