John Collins Trade Rumors: Hawks' Asking Price Has 'Declined Significantly'

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 13, 2023

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 28: John Collins #20 of the Atlanta Hawks reacts during the second half against the Brooklyn Nets at State Farm Arena on December 28, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks are reportedly now asking for less in exchange for forward John Collins in trade discussions than they did in previous years.

According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, the asking price for Collins has "declined significantly," to the point where the Hawks have reportedly asked for only a quality player in return for Collins and not a first-round pick in some negotiations.

Collins, 25, has spent his entire six-year NBA career in Atlanta, and he is signed through at least the 2024-25 season with a player option for 2025-26 after signing a five-year, $125 million contract extension with the Hawks in 2021.

In past years, Collins' numbers were hovering around an All-Star level. That included averaging 19.5 points and 9.8 rebounds in 2018-19, followed by averages of 21.6 points and 10.1 rebounds in 2019-20.

His production has steadily declined since then, though, especially this season after the arrival of guard Dejounte Murray, who has become the clear No. 2 scoring option behind superstar guard Trae Young.

In 33 games this season, Collins is averaging just 13.3 points per game, which is his lowest scoring output since his rookie season. His 8.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game are up compared to the previous two seasons, but his 1.3 assists per contest are down from last season. His 0.8 three-pointers made per game are his lowest since his rookie year.

Collins is also having the worst season of his career in terms of offensive efficiency, as his field goal percentage of 50.3 percent and three-point shooting percentage of 23.1 percent are both career lows.

The Hawks surprisingly reached the Eastern Conference Finals two seasons ago before barely reaching the playoffs last season and experiencing a first-round exit.

In an effort to turn things around, the Hawks acquired Murray from the San Antonio Spurs, and the prevailing thought was that a "Big 3" of Young, Murray and Collins could make the Hawks contenders again.

Instead, Atlanta is off to a disappointing 19-22 start, which is only good enough for ninth place in the Eastern Conference.

Collins' dip in production has undoubtedly played a role, as he is only fifth on the team in scoring this season.

While Collins could conceivably put up far bigger numbers elsewhere if he is made more of an offensive priority, moving him for a sizable return may not be in the cards.

Any team that trades for Collins would be taking on an expensive, long-term contract, and the stats simply aren't present to justify that contract this season.