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John Collins Receives Qualifying Contract Offer from Hawks, Will Be RFA

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJuly 22, 2021

Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins (20) reacts during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Friday, March 6, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

On the heels of their surprise playoff run, the Atlanta Hawks have taken the first step toward retaining John Collins for at least one more season. 

Per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the Hawks extended a qualifying offer to their starting power forward. 

Per Spotrac, Collins' qualifying offer for the 2021-22 season is valued $7.71 million. 

Collins established himself as a building block for Atlanta after his first two seasons. He was a first-round draft pick by the organization in 2017 and worked his way into the starting lineup by the end of his rookie campaign. 

The 2018-19 season was his breakout with 19.5 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. He also shot 56 percent from the field. 

Five games into the 2019-20 campaign, Collins received a 25-game suspension by the NBA for violating the league's anti-drug program when he tested positive for a growth hormone. He played well upon returning, finishing the year with 21.6 points per game and shooting 40.1 percent from three-point range. 

The Wake Forest alum was eligible for a contract extension last offseason, but his camp wasn't able to come to an agreement with the Hawks. He continued to play well with 17.6 points on 55.6 percent shooting and 7.4 rebounds per game in 63 starts. 

ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported on the Hoop Collective Podcast (h/t Reddit.com) in December that Collins turned down Atlanta's offer that was "in excess of $90 million" because he was "seeking something at or near the max and he stuck to his guns."

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The Atlanta front office added to the roster by signing Danilo Gallinari and Bogdan Bogdanovic in free agency last offseason.

Both players were hampered by injuries early in the season, but their returns—combined with the switch to Nate McMillan as interim head coach in March—propelled the Hawks to the Eastern Conference Finals. 

Atlanta has several key roster decisions coming up, starting with Young when he becomes eligible for an extension next offseason.

Keeping Collins will solve one question mark for the Hawks, though he will be able to receive offers from other teams as a restricted free agent. Atlanta will have the right to match any offer if it decides to keep him. 

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