John Collins has been the subject of trade rumors for three years now, and with the Hawks set to be one of the more active teams leading up to the trade deadline, that’s not changing in the near future. Nearly every competitive team has been linked to Collins at one point or another, but the Hawks have chosen to hold onto him. There’s a chance they make that same decision this time around, given his value has never been lower, but I wouldn’t be shocked by any direction the Hawks go. The entire organization is a mess, and things have not worked the way the team is currently constructed.
ESPN recently posted an article titled “2023 NBA Trade Deadline: Eastern Conference deal predictions,” and of course, Collins was the subject of the Hawks’ departures. Here’s the deal they came up with for the bouncy power forward:
The reason for a trade like this is fairly obvious, even if it is not something Hawks fans may want to hear. In this deal, Atlanta would essentially be ridding of Collins salary in exchange for a mid-to-late first-round selection.
Boucher is a decent player, but he’s nothing more than a reserve piece that is already 30-years-old. Young is nearing the end of his career, and Birch will likely never see the floor.
I’m hopeful a deal like this will not come to fruition for the Hawks, but this is the harsh reality surrounding the organization. As much as they would like to remain competitive, they are worried about their bottom line. They traded Kevin Huerter to avoid the luxury tax, which will go down as one of the worst moves in franchise history, and they very well may do the same thing with Collins.
Looking forward, once contract extensions for other players like De’Andre Hunter kick in, the Hawks will once again be a luxury tax team with Collins on the roster. Ridding of his contract now will get them back under the tax, but they still won’t have much room to maneuver and improve the team.
I could go on forever about why I hate this deal for the Hawks. Most importantly, it would severely hinder the team’s chances of being competitive anytime soon. However, my opinion doesn’t matter. Ownership has proven they aren’t committed to making the Hawks as competitive as possible, despite originally stating the luxury tax doesn’t scare them. Making a trade like this would only make that more obvious. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like they care.
Photo: Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire