For the last three seasons, John Collins has been at the forefront of trade rumors. At this point, it’s probably easier to name teams that haven’t been linked to the Hawks power forward rather than the ones that have. Despite that, no deal has come to fruition. Atlanta values what Collins brings to the table. He’s one of the most efficient big men in the Association, a violent finisher at the rim with a much-improved three-point shot. There is understandably no shortage of suitors for his services, but if this latest rumor is true, no deal will be happening prior to the trade deadline.
“What you are seeing with Collins now is that the Hawks want him to be treated like an All-Star, they want a big-time return for Collins — not quite like the Rudy Gobert or Donovan Mitchell trades, but something in that neighborhood,” an Eastern Conference executive revealed via Heavy Sports. “And everyone else looks at him like he’s a guy who is owed $100 million over the next four years and is having the worst year of his career. The [Brooklyn] Nets can build a package around Joe Harris to make the money match, and add in Royce O’Neale and Cam Thomas.”
I love what Collins brings to the table and encourage the Hawks to stand strong in negotiations. There’s no reason to sell low on a player with as much talent as he has. With that being said, there’s no way they are getting a similar return to what the Jazz received for Mitchell, which included three first-round picks, Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen, and then some. The Hawks won’t even get close to that, which is also why I don’t believe this report.
There’s no chance Atlanta is asking for three-plus first round picks in return for Collins. Their price is clearly high, which is why Collins remains in Atlanta, but I don’t believe for one second that they are looking for a Donovan Mitchell-like return. If they are, Collins will remain a Hawk for life.