NBA Rumors: Odds of John Collins Trade from Hawks 'as High as It's Ever Been'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJune 20, 2022

Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins (20) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 12, 2021, in Denver. The Nuggets won 105-96. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

John Collins may not be long for the Atlanta Hawks.

NBA insider Marc Stein reported Monday the possibility of Collins being traded is "as high as it's ever been":

"He was one of the league's most-talked-about trade targets this season until Atlanta ultimately decided to shut down all Collins discussions before the Feb. 10 trade buzzer when the team started to pull out of its 17-25 start. The trade chatter has since only intensified since Atlanta's meek first-round exit to Miami in five games.

"I've been advised that relocation for Collins this offseason is pretty much expected now."

Collins averaged 16.2 points and 7.8 rebounds in 2021-22. He also shot 52.6 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from beyond the arc.

One year into the five-year, $125 million extension he signed with Atlanta, the 6'9" forward is largely living up to the terms of his contract.

Two factors are making it likely Collins will be playing elsewhere when the 2022-23 season begins, though.

Coming off a five-game series loss to the Miami Heat in the first round of the NBA playoffs, the Hawks clearly need to upgrade their roster. That isn't easy when they're projected to have a $151.3 million payroll before factoring in any new deals.

Trading Collins can either yield a return that helps Atlanta win now or clear some money off the books, which would make it easier to chase free agents this offseason or the next. The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor reported the Hawks are attempting to acquire a mid-lottery pick, with Collins potentially moving to make that happen.

The other issue clouding Collins' future is that he may never have the kind of status he's seeking on the team. The Athletic's Shams Charania reported in January he had "grown increasingly frustrated over his role in Atlanta."

The 24-year-old attempted 11.9 shots per game, his lowest rate since his rookie season, and his usage rate (20.5 percent) told a similar story, per Basketball Reference.

Trae Young is clearly the No. 1 option on the Hawks, and there are a lot of other mouths to feed between De'Andre Hunter, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Danilo Gallinari and Kevin Huerter.

Another franchise might be better positioned to make Collins a centerpiece of the offense.