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Nets Rumors: Brooklyn 'Touched Base' with Hawks About Possible John Collins Trade

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 1, 2022

Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins (20) sets up for a shot during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

If John Collins is indeed on the trading block, the Brooklyn Nets may be one of his suitors.

SNY's Ian Begley reported on The Putback podcast (h/t Alder Almo of Empire Sports Media) Thursday that the Nets "have indeed touched base with Atlanta about Collins."

Begley added: "Just interesting because that's, I think the Nets are in search of some help along the front line. Collins can certainly help them. I'm not sure how far along those talks went. But they've certainly engaged recently, so something to keep an eye on there."

You can see the full episode here:

Earlier in November, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported that the Hawks "opened up preliminary trade discussions" surrounding Collins as "interested teams inquire."

Charania also noted that the Phoenix Suns had expressed some interest but weren't thrilled at the idea of absorbing his five-year, $125 million contract, adding that the Hawks "don't have an imminent deal in place involving Collins, those sources say, and executives around the league believe a potential deal will be weeks and potentially months in the making ahead of the Feb. 9 trade deadline."

It has felt like the 25-year-old Collins has perpetually been on the trade block in the past few years. He remains a productive player, though he's averaging just 12.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game this season. His points per game are the lowest mark he's posted since his rookie season.

Atlanta's offense runs through the backcourt of Trae Young and Dejounte Murray, while wing De'Andre Hunter has emerged as the third option. Add in the presence of Clint Capela at center, and Collins isn't the most natural fit on this roster, especially as he struggled massively from three (21.9 percent) this season.

It's unclear what a trade with the Nets would look like, though Brooklyn could use an upgrade in the frontcourt. Collins could serve as a small-ball 5 in certain lineups, especially if his shooting stroke returns, allowing the team to move Nic Claxton to the bench and potentially Ben Simmons back into the starting lineup once he returns to health.

That assumes Simmons isn't a part of the deal, though the Nets could build a package around Joe Harris and other pieces to make the money work.

It's all theoretical at this point. We've been here with Collins and trade rumors before, after all, and he's still in Atlanta.