There will be John Collins trade rumors flying around as we get closer to the NBA’s March trade deadline.
He and Atlanta could not reach an agreement on an extension before the season. The Hawks reportedly offered a $90 million contract and he wants the max. An efficient and athletic forward scoring an efficient 18.5 points a game who can play inside or hit threes is going to have a lot of value on the open market, so Collins bet on himself. The Hawks have somewhat of an overlapping skill set in Clint Capela. It all makes sense for the Hawks to listen to trades.
Just don’t bet on a deal getting done, something Sam Amick discusses at The Athletic.
Despite the fact that he didn’t come to terms on an extension in the brief offseason, and that so many rival executives believe his NBA future will eventually be elsewhere as a result, there’s a complicating element that is coming into play: He’s a pivotal part of their team right now. And considering the widely-known reality that the playoffs are a massive priority for owner Tony Ressler & Co., that makes the prospect of trading Collins quite tricky.
The other complicating factor is what team is going to offer what the Hawks will consider a fair package of picks and players for Collins? It has to be a team that wants him enough to re-sign him this offseason — at the max or very close to it — and is willing to send out a package of quality players and picks to get it done. It’s not easy to see what team that is, at least among the upper half of the playoff teams, most of whom are already stretched thin.
Sitting as the eighth seed in the East with an 11-13 record, if Atlanta is prioritizing making the playoffs, then it can’t afford to take a step back after a trade. This makes sending out Collins — the team’s second-leading scorer, second-leading rebounder, and a guy who has chemistry with Trae Young — difficult at best. Maybe an off-season sign-and-trade makes more sense ultimately for both sides.
But for now, expect the rumors to keep on coming.