Hawks: Potential sign-and-trade options with John Collins

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Perhaps Travis Schlenk could get creative and develop a better path for the Hawks by moving on from John Collins, but it isn’t easy to see. I think there’s an excellent chance he stays in Atlanta, even if he signs a four-year max with another team, which Shams Charania of The Athletic reported was a possibility earlier this week. The Hawks can match any deal, and since they can go over the cap to sign Collins using his bird rights, I’m hard-pressed to find many better options. However, if Atlanta is to let Collins walk, it seems most likely they will take advantage of his restricted free agency and complete a sign-and-trade.

Sign-and-trades aren’t super common, but because the Hawks have all the leverage since they can match any offer sheet Collins signs this offseason, if a team really wants him, they might have to work out a deal. This will allow the Hawks to use their cap space most effectively, rounding out the best roster possible while also keeping their options open.

In Charania’s report, he names several teams that are interested in courting Collins this offseason — the Heat, Mavericks, Timberwolves, and Spurs — and I’m sure others are waiting in the wings. But for this article, I’ll stick with the teams from Charania’s report. Tomorrow, I’ll take a look at a different approach the Hawks could take when sign-and-trading John Collins.

Miami Heat trade Goran Dragic and 2022 first-round pick for John Collins

Remember, the Hawks aren’t going to get the same value for John Collins in a sign-and-trade — or anything close to it — as they would in a typical trade. I don’t love this return, but it would help the Hawks bench out next season. One of the weakest aspects of the team is the playmaking when Trae Young is off the floor; Dragic would nip that in the bud. Plus, he’s only under contract for one more season, which would allow the Hawks to re-evaluate the landscape in free agency a year from now. The first-round pick is just the cherry on top.

Dallas Mavericks trade Jalen Brunson, Willie Cauley-Stein, and Maxi Kleber for John Collins

Another trade that doesn’t exactly excite me, but if the Mavericks are really adamant about bringing in Collins, I hope they will throw in an ultra-talented backup point guard like Jalen Brunson in a trade package. He would be perfect behind Trae Young and could also share the floor with him. Willie Cauley-Stein would add some quality depth behind Clint Capela at a cheap rate ($4 million club option for next season), and Maxi Kleber is a stretch-four that shot 41% from three this past season.

Minnesota Timberwolves trade Ricky Rubio and 2022 first-round pick for John Collins

For gamblers out there, this trade should intrigue you. On the surface, this looks pretty terrible for the Hawks. Ricky Rubio will be way overpaid next season at nearly $18 million. However, it’s still an upgrade at backup point guard and gives the Hawks a much-needed playmaker. Plus, he’s a free agent after next season, so the Hawks can clear the books and focus on next year’s free-agent class. However, the prize of this trade is a 2022 first-round pick. No matter how much talent the Timberwolves have on their roster, they always seem to find themselves in the lottery. I’m not sure the Timberwolves would be willing to leave the pick unprotected, but I think the Hawks could demand it in a deal like this.

As far as the teams with reported interest in Collins, there are not many deals that make both teams better. I find them pretty unlikely unless one of the teams above is willing to up the ante and offer the Hawks something more enticing. However, I don’t think those are the only teams interested, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Travis Schlenk dangled Collins out to contending teams in an attempt to acquire a disgruntled star. Centered around John Collins, the Hawks could put together as good of a package as anyone if they decide they want to make a move and pair Trae Young with another true superstar.




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