Late last week, reports were circulating that teams had been inquiring about John Collins. We are now learning, that based on the offers, the Hawks have no interest in moving him, according to Zach Lowe of ESPN.com:
The Hawks are among the teams who have expressed interest in Capela, per Woj. They have talked to several teams about centers. Some of those teams have inquired about John Collins, sources say, thinking the Hawks might be worried about extension talks with Collins in the offseason.
Even if those teams are right, the Hawks have shown no interest in dealing Collins on any of the general terms bandied about, sources say. It will be interesting to see how Collins’ game evolves if Atlanta really commits to a paint-bound center. (They of course have paired Collins with such players a lot over his career, but none considered potential long-term pillars.) He has extended his range and rounded out his game, but still looks most comfortable on offense as Trae Young’s rim-rattling pick-and-roll partner.
It seems as if the Hawks are looking for a piece to complement Collins, not replace him. Moving him would make little sense as they have no other long-term options at the four or the five, and he has been the best player on this roster outside of Trae Young. Collins has been impressive for Atlanta in his short, three-year career and is line for a sizeable contract extension. Things could get complicated, though, if the team is still sour about his 25-game suspension earlier this season for PEDs, or they do not feel he is worth near-max money. Collins will be eligible for an extension this offseason, or the Hawks can allow him to enter restricted free agency next summer, enabling him to see what he is worth on the open market.
Teams should be inquiring about the Hawks’ talented young big man. After all, he’s one of the best players from his draft class and still only 22-years-old, but it is reassuring to know that they are not currently inclined to move him. The next move will be finding a real seven-footer to pair with him. Right now, I would not be worried about Collins being traded by Atlanta.