Celtics Trade Rumors: Hawks' John Collins a 'Player of Interest' for Boston

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2021

Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins (20) puts up a shot against the Indiana Pacers during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Butch Dill/Associated Press

Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins is reportedly a "player of interest" for the Boston Celtics on the trade market ahead of the March 25 deadline, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. 

The Hawks are reportedly seeking a "high-level first-round draft pick and/or a talented young player" in exchange for Collins.

The 23-year-old is currently averaging 17.9 points and 7.7 rebounds per game and shooting 37.4 percent from three-point range. He is set to become a restricted free agent this offseason after making $4.1 million in 2020-21, per Spotrac.

Collins could make himself even more money if he returns to his form from 2019-20, where he averaged 21.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per game while shooting 40.1 percent from three. Though he only played 41 games, he would have joined Giannis Antetokounmpo as the only players to average 20 and 10 last season.

The 6'9", 235-pound forward has proved to be a versatile scorer who can help a team in a lot of ways.

This type of addition would be huge for Boston, which has had limited consistency this season behind All-Stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. A healthy Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart can solidify the backcourt, although the team will likely need more down low to keep up with the other top teams in the Eastern Conference.

Tim Bontemps of ESPN reported earlier this month that Boston was seeking a forward who can provide "a scoring punch," and Collins seemingly fits the bill.

One challenge could be the Hawks' recent surge with five straight wins putting them into playoff contention in the East. If this continues, Atlanta might not want to deal away a player who could help secure a postseason berth for the first time in four years.