The talks revolving around a John Collins contract extension have been ongoing for over a year now, and they will only pick up as the offseason approaches. It was reported before the season that the Hawks offer topped out at around 4 years, $90 million, which Collins obviously declined, setting him up for restricted free agency this offseason. Here’s what he had to say about that, being a trade deadline target, and more in his interview with Shams Charania.
Hawks‘ John Collins sits down with @Stadium: “On one hand, I have all these NBA teams showing their want. On the other side, I couldn’t get a deal done with the team that I’ve been here with.” Also: Performing amid business of NBA, leadership, Trae Young. pic.twitter.com/kFSzhlVZY9
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 20, 2021
Collins doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to the contract extension, stating he was extremely disappointed that they couldn’t get things done before the start of the season. However, he said it didn’t really affect him as far as his everyday mentality. He’s always motivated by people who question what he brings to the table, and it’s been evident in his fourth season.
“I’m still going to have to come out and produce,” Collins said.
He’s done just that. Despite seeing a slight dip in production — both offensively and in the rebounding department — Collins remains one of the most efficient bigs in The Association, averaging 18.0 points on 54.5% from the field and 37.7% behind the arc. Collins’ stats were always expected to drop a bit with all the additions the Hawks made this offseason. Bogdan Bogdanovic and Danilo Gallinari, as well as the emergence of De’Andre Hunter, mean fewer shots to go around. At the same time, Clint Capela is a vacuum on the glass, stealing many of the rebounds Collins would have hauled in a season ago.
Charania then pivoted the conversation towards the trade deadline and the rumors that ensued. A bevy of teams attempted to pry Collins away from Atlanta, and general manager Travis Schlenk admitted that he was listening. Those rumors seemed to have affected Collins a little more.
“On one hand, I have all these NBA teams showing their want. On the other side, I couldn’t get a deal done with the team that I’ve been here with,” Collins said. He also mentioned how all the noise was impossible to ignore. Half the team would be talking about the latest rumors when he showed up to the locker room.
Lastly, Collins spoke on his relationship with Trae Young. If you remember, there was reportedly a heated argument between him and the Hawks point guard at a film session earlier in the season. However, that’s not necessarily abnormal between competitive players when things aren’t going as well as they could be, and the rumors of a rift between the two were quickly put to bed.
“I feel like we really have the best one-two combo in the league,” Collins said. “We could potentially have all-time great chemistry.”
Collins will be a busy man this offseason. Teams from all over the country will be courting him for copious amounts of cash. However, the ball is still in the Hawks’ court. Collins can sign with another team this summer, but Atlanta can match any offer and bring him back for the long-term.
With that being said, nobody inside the organization is focused on that right now. Atlanta is currently the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference, but they only sit 0.5 games ahead of the Celtics and Knicks and are just 1.5 games in front of the Heat. The Hawks must keep things rolling to avoid participating in the play-in tournament and possibly even earn home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
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