It’s the best time of the year for NBA fans — the offseason. Somehow, the regular season has become an afterthought in the Association, and the eventful Summers are sometimes more entertaining than the playoffs because of all the rumors. And the Hawks are sure to be among the most mentioned clubs in basketball.
Atlanta is at a crossroads. There aren’t many paths to improving the roster immediately without first taking a step back in the form of trading away assets. There is no financial wiggle room for the Hawks, which might be a point of emphasis this offseason.
The Mavericks and Hawks, for example, discussed the idea of swapping Dāvis Bertāns and the No. 15 pick for John Collins and the No. 10 pick, sources said, although those talks do not appear to have progressed at this time.
Davis Bertans has $33 million over two years left on his deal, while Collins has three years at $26 million per season left. Bertans has and never will be an equal or better player than Collins, but it would give the Hawks some wiggle room financially now and moving forward.
Bertans earned his big contract after a career-year in 2019-2020 where he averaged 15.4 points while shooting 42.4% from behind the arc. However, it’s a contract that turned sour pretty quickly. He still offers the ability to stretch the floor, but he’s struggled to even earn playing time and has only averaged five points over the last two seasons.
John Collins has been one of the most mentioned players in the entire league in trade rumors, so it’s no surprise they’re once again popping up. If the Hawks moved him this offseason, it would be bad business, in my opinion.
I understand wanting to regain some financial flexibility, but Collins’ trade value has never been lower. He also played much better in the playoffs under Quin Snyder, so there’s reason to believe he could recapture that 20 and 10 magic under an offensive-centric coach.
Regardless, it seems the Hawks’ new-look front office is leaving no stone unturned.
Photographer: Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire