Bleacher Report trade hypotheticals can be hit-or-miss, but this one seems to be pretty feasible and is based on an idea that has been floated around before. Of course, it includes John Collins, who is involved in every trade rumor under the sun — most recently linked to the Brooklyn Nets.
This hypothetical swap revolves around Buddy Hield and John Collins, which is a rumor we’ve gotten before.
The Trade: John Collins and 2023 second-round pick (via Pelicans) to the Indiana Pacers for Buddy Hield and T.J. McConnell
The Atlanta Hawks showed enough fight against the second-seeded Boston Celtics for us to assume they’ll avoid the demolition option of trading Trae Young. Still, their season underwhelmed in ways that could nudge the front office into action, perhaps the kind that finally morphs John Collins from a trade candidate into a trade participant.
Atlanta needs more scoring threats to take some heat off Young, and Buddy Hield’s movement shooting could be a release valve. He is nearly unmatched as a quantity-plus-quality marksman. He has hit better than 260 triples in each of the past five seasons, splashing those long-range looks at a 40-percent clip.
Beyond Hield, though, Atlanta would also add T.J. McConnell and maybe finally avoid the pitfalls that have so often come when Young needs a breather. McConnell is a playmaker at both ends, consistently flashing sound decision-making on offense (career 5.0 assists per game against 1.6 turnovers) and boundless energy on defense.
Indiana, meanwhile, would fill a glaring hole at power forward with Collins, who, at age 25, is a much cleaner timeline fit with the 23-year-old Tyrese Haliburton than 30-somethings Hield and McConnell.
I understand the rationale for both sides. I think Collins deserves more time under Quin Snyder, but moving on from his contract makes sense. Hield is a sniper, and McConnell is a pretty underrated player. The money would be close to even, but Hield is on an expiring contract and will be an unrestricted free agent going into 2024. McConnell has two years remaining, with $8.7 million guaranteed in 2023-2024 and a cap hit of $9.3 million in 2024-2025. However, only $5 million of the 2024-2025 salary is guaranteed if the Hawks decide to free up cap space.
I think this is a reasonable idea, but if I was a betting man, I’d think the Hawks are going to continue to be embroiled in Collins trade rumors until opening night, where he will be in an Atlanta uniform and starting at the 4.
Photo: Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire
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