Blazers reportedly interested in trading for Hawks John Collins

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The Hawks are going to make changes this offseason. Travis Schlenk, the team’s general manager, has stated that they shouldn’t have stuck with the status quo and should’ve upgraded the roster after last season’s Eastern Conference Finals trip. Tony Ressler has expressed his desire to win a championship and that breaking into the luxury tax threshold doesn’t scare him.

Trae Young is a superstar, and the Hawks need to consistently build a contender around him. Atlanta should be competing for championships every year of Young’s super-max contract. This offseason should be filled with trade and free agency rumors because of all those circumstances.

Yesterday, we had one of our first, but it really is nothing new. Every team in the Association wants a player like John Collins, and the Portland Trailblazers have joined the very long list of interested clubs.

According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, “One other player frequently mentioned to be on Portland’s radar is Atlanta’s John Collins, who is a lob threat that could provide more defensive versatility than Jusuf Nurkic.”

Collins has been the subject of trade rumors for the better part of the last two seasons, but nothing has come to fruition. Instead, the 24-year-old agreed to a five-year extension worth $125 million last summer — a great deal for a player of Collins’ caliber.

A theoretical trade package could comprise Eric Bledsoe, Josh Hart, and future picks. O’Conner noted Portland’s $20.8 million trade exception as a way to facilitate a trade for a star, and also pointed out, “There’s also a potential sign-and-trade with Nurkic, or more drastically, flipping Anfernee Simons, a 22-year-old coming off a career-best season and entering restricted free agency.”

Collins isn’t an All-Star, but he can be an important piece to a championship-caliber roster. The Trail Blazers offering Bledsoe and Hart doesn’t move the needle much, despite both being good perimeter defenders, which we know Atlanta needs.

Simons is an interesting trade piece; he’s an exciting young prospect, but the Hawks would be buying high on him. He’s coming off the best season of his career, and I doubt Atlanta is the team to pay him. Nurkic doesn’t fit the roster as it stands today, but it could be restructured.

All in all, I don’t see the pieces Portland has to offer enticing Schlenk. If a trade comes to fruition this offseason, I doubt it is with the Trail Blazers.

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