The Atlanta Hawks may be looking to shake things up in a big way over the offseason, and could trade a key contributor in order to do so. The Hawks are expected to deal athletic forward John Collins this summer, according to Marc Stein. Collins still has four years remaining on his current contract, including a player option for the 2025-26 season, and that could help make him additionally attractive to interested suitors.
After making it all the way to the Eastern Conference finals last season, the Hawks were eliminated in the first round this past season, and as a result the front office clearly feels like the roster needs some upgrades.
The likelihood of a John Collins trade, league sources indicate, is as high as it's ever been.
Collins just completed the first season of a five-year, $125 million contract, but the newness of his deal didn't do anything to downgrade external interest in the 6-foot-9 forward that has bubbled leaguewide since talks broke down between Collins and Hawks on a $90 million extension at the start of the 2020-21 season.
He was one of the league's most-talked-about trade targets this season until Atlanta ultimately decided to shut down all Collins discussions before the Feb. 10 trade buzzer when the team started to pull out of its 17-25 start. The trade chatter has since only intensified since Atlanta's meek first-round exit to Miami in five games... I've been advised that relocation for Collins this offseason is pretty much expected now.
The Hawks are likely to get plenty of calls about Collins. After all, he's a guy who's averaged 16.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game over the course of his career, and he's still just 24 years old. Stein mentioned the Portland Trail Blazers as a team with interest in Collins, and they're surely not the only one. The Sacramento Kings are also interested in Collins, and have engaged in conversations with the Hawks about him, according to Shams Charania.
Sacramento holds the No. 4 overall pick and Portland holds the No. 7 overall pick in the upcoming 2022 NBA Draft. Perhaps a package built around one of those picks would be enough to entice Atlanta to move Collins. Or perhaps they'll wait until free agency gets underway in order to pull the trigger on a deal. Either way, it seems increasingly likely that we'll see Collins in a new uniform next season.