The Atlanta Hawks are reportedly putting forward John Collins on the trading block once again.
Though Collins has spent his entire professional career out of Wake Forest in Atlanta, in addition to getting the bag last summer from the team who drafted him, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported “the Hawks are looking to add a lottery pick either by outright trading John Collins or also including (the No. 16 overall) selection” in his 2022 NBA Draft guide. Y’all do realize Collins is good?
It has always been clunky in the frontcourt with him playing alongside center Clint Capela, but a long with All-NBA point guard Trae Young, these are this Eastern Conference team’s three best players. Though general manager Travis Schlenk has earned the benefit of the doubt when it comes to evaluating talent in the draft, Collins is too precious of a commodity to bail on him now.
Atlanta may need to reshape its roster a bit after a down last season, but trading Collins is odd.
NBA Draft rumors: Atlanta Hawks are shopping forward John Collins … again
Over the last few years, Collins has been a borderline All-Star for Atlanta. Injuries have slowed him down a bit, but he is a great above-the-rim player, a willing rebounder and a great presence in the frontcourt for one of the most exciting teams in the Eastern Conference. He may have a strong connection with Young, but again, Collins having to play alongside Capela will always be an issue.
While it is understandable for Schlenk to field calls about other teams’ supposed interest in a player like Collins, this team has been the playoffs the last two years after a painful rebuilding process. Young is the unquestioned star in Atlanta, but it is hard to argue the Hawks will be a better team without Collins part of it. Of course, Schlenk would have to make multiple moves.
Ultimately, the Hawks should only make this trade if they are indeed getting a high-end lottery pick and Schlenk has carefully identified one, maybe two prospects worthy of selecting that high. Trading Collins would have to be for a player who had more upside than Cam Reddish, because we all know how that went. In the meantime, the Hawks appear to be active heading into this draft.
Collins has been a good soldier throughout, so let’s hope if he is dealt, the Hawks do right by him.