John Collins Trade Rumors: Hawks Seeking 'High 1st-Round, Lottery-Level Pick'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 15, 2021

Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins (20) scores against the Los Angeles Lakers in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

While the Atlanta Hawks are willing to listen to offers for John Collins, they aren't going to allow him to walk for cheap.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported the Hawks are looking for a "high first-round, lottery-level pick" in exchange for the big man.

Collins will be a restricted free agent after the 2020-21 season, so it's unclear what level of interest teams have in meeting Atlanta's asking price.

The Hawks and Collins seemingly made no progress in contract extension talks over the offseason. ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported Collins turned down an extension offer worth $90 million to test his luck in restricted free agency.

Collins' future with the franchise has been up in the air since Atlanta traded for Clint Capela last season, a deal that ended any experimentation with him as a long-term center. The athletic big man is averaging 18.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game while shooting a solid 39.1 percent clip from beyond the arc. His combination of shooting and athleticism will make him attractive on the open market, despite the fact he's still not developed into being a plus defender.

The Hawks have lost six of their last seven games to drop to 11-15, with their offseason spending splurge already looking regrettable. Danilo Gallinari and Bogdan Bogdanovic have been a combination of injured and ineffective, and with De'Andre Hunter also hurt, it's unclear where Atlanta's second scoring option would come from if Colllins gets moved.

The odds remain likeliest that Collins winds up hitting restricted free agency this summer and remains in Atlanta, only to find himself back in trade discussions a year from now. 

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