John Collins out for Hawks vs. Suns with Ankle Injury

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 31, 2021

Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins (20) shoots over Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, March 30, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

Power forward John Collins was ruled out for the remainder of Tuesday night's matchup vs. the Phoenix Suns with a left ankle sprain, the team announced

Collins scored nine points and added four rebounds and three assists in 15 first-half minutes before being ruled out. 

Collins, 23, is having an excellent season for the Hawks, averaging 18.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game, shooting 54.4 percent from the field and 38.2 percent from three. He's the rare big who is athletic enough to be a dangerous roll man and protect the rim while simultaneously providing floor spacing with solid perimeter shooting. 

Coming into Tuesday's game, Atlanta was 23-23 on the year and sixth in the Eastern Conference standings. 

But because Collins will be a restricted free agent after the season, he was the subject of rumors ahead of Thursday's NBA trade deadline. Ultimately, Atlanta decided to keep him. 

And Collins told reporters last week that he wanted to remain with the Hawks, both in the short and long term:

"I want to stay. I want my flowers here in Atlanta. I want to be true to Atlanta for my entire career, as corny or as cheesy as it may sound to whoever. As a basketball player and as someone who takes pride in their job, me being drafted in the organization and me living here and becoming a man and living my life in the NBA as a Hawk means something to me. It might not mean a lot to other people but I want to be here. I want my future to be here."

If Collins is forced to miss additional time with his ankle injury, look for Solomon Hill to move into the starting lineup at power forward.