Hawks: John Collins wants to be back in Atlanta, but at what price point?

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Unfortunately, the Hawks front office doesn’t have much time to look back on the team’s magical playoff run. There’s a ton of work to be done this offseason, and it starts with John Collins, who is a restricted free agent this summer. Collins was the first draft pick of the Travis Schlenk era, taken 19th overall in 2017. Ever since, he’s blossomed into one of the most efficient power forwards in the league, and now, he wants to be paid like it. There will be no shortage of teams lining up to sign Collins this offseason, but he made it clear in his exit interview that he wants to stay in Atlanta, hoping to bring the city its first basketball championship.

We’ll see if that means taking a hometown discount of sorts, but the ball is really in the Hawks court. Since he’s a restricted free agent, they can match any deal he signs this offseason. Still, that doesn’t guarantee he’ll be back. Collins is an All-Star caliber player, but there are several other things to consider when deciding whether or not to hand him the bag.

First and foremost is all the players the Hawks will eventually have to backup the Brinks truck for. Trae Young will undoubtedly sign a super max extension this summer. I’m sure Atlanta would love to extend Kevin Huerter after his marvelous postseason run. De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish will eventually be up for healthy raises, and Atlanta could also be thinking about attempting to make a move for another star player as they turn the corner from rebuilding to championship contenders.

With all of these scenarios, it will come down to value. I’m sure middling teams will overpay for Collins’ services. It happens every offseason in the NBA. If he accepts one of those offers and forces the Hawks to match, he may leave Travis Schlenk with no other choice but to let him walk.

I’m not sure what that price point is. We know the Hawks offered Collins somewhere in the four-year, $90 million range last offseason — a contract that didn’t seem to be anywhere near Collins’ demands. I think — even though Collins didn’t put up the same eye-popping offensive stats this season as he did a year ago — he’s improved enough in all the little areas that determine wins and losses to warrant a contract greater than $90 million. With that being said, I wouldn’t go too much higher than that. The quickest way to go from the contending stage back to rebuilding is by overpaying players, making the Collins decision easily the most critical of the offseason.

1 thought on “Hawks: John Collins wants to be back in Atlanta, but at what price point?”

  1. Pingback: Hawks: John Collins wants to be back in Atlanta, but at what price point? - TheAtlantaStar

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