Member of Jazz organization says John Collins trade was “no-brainer”

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The Hawks have been relatively quiet this offseason. They’ve added a couple of veterans for depth and locker room purposes, but their best move didn’t come through free agency or via trade. It was extending one of their own, when Dejounte Murray inked a team-friendly four-year, $120 million contract with the Hawks. However, for that to happen, Atlanta’s front office had to shed some salary, which they did when they traded John Collins to the Utah Jazz.

Once a player that looked like an ascending All-Star, Collins’ production steadily began to decline following the 2019-2020 season, when he averaged 21.6 points and 10.1 rebounds. He seemed to fall out of favor in the offense, receiving fewer and fewer touches. He also suffered a pinky injury a couple of seasons ago that clearly affected his shooting. Collins shot an abysmal 29.2% from behind the arc last season on 3.4 attempts per game, down nearly 11% from when he averaged 21.6 points.

The decision for the Hawks was simple. It was selling him at his lowest, but from their point of view, it was a sunk cost. The fact that they were able to get out from under the remainder of his $125 million contract without giving up anything else in return was a win, especially since they extended Dejounte Murray soon after.

The Jazz don’t see it that way, though. They believe John Collins can still be one of the best power forwards in the game. An anonymous member of the organization even went as far as to say the decision was a “no-brainer.”

The ending of Collins’ tenure should have left a sour taste in the mouth of everyone inside the organization. He’s undoubtedly talented, even if the fit wasn’t right, and if the fit wasn’t right, he should have been dealt years ago for a haul of picks and young players. It was complete mismanagement, but the current regime can’t be blamed for that. They were left in a miserable position and decided to rip the band aid off.

Besides all of the on the court production provided during his time with the Hawks, his team-first attitude and willingness to do whatever it takes to win is the kind of stuff coaches dream about. Collins is a fantastic basketball player, but an even better human being. I hope this anonymous member of the Jazz is correct, and he goes onto have the career everyone envisioned a few years ago.

Photographer: Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire

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