It’s literally clockwork. The Hawks trading John Collins is making the rounds again. It was only hypotheticals at first. Then, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported the club opened up preliminary trade discussions around the forward. And again, Yahoo! listed Collins as one of the team’s top trade candidates.
To be fair, he’s having the worst start to a season in his career as he adapts to a new role yet again after the acquisition of Dejounte Murray. Collins is averaging 12.6 points, the lowest mark since his rookie year, on the least efficient shooting of his career, 26.9% from three-point range. Still, it’s not because of the numbers. It seems the Hawks have been “listening” to trade talks surrounding Collins since Trae Young was drafted. The lack of production is just acting as a catalyst for more rumors.
According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo!, the Jazz have a genuine interest in Collins but a deal coming to fruition seems low. Interestingly, Atlanta approached Utah about a swap for John Collins and Lauri Markkanen, which didn’t generate any traction, per Fischer.
With Markkanen amid a career year, his asking price has never been higher, and Collins’ value has never been lower. Markkanen is averaging a career-best 22.4 points per game on the most efficient shooting of his career, a 60.5 effective field goal percentage. It’s literally the exact opposite of Collins. No wonder Danny Ainge didn’t have any interest in the swap.
If the Jazz were to move any players, it’s likely to be Mike Conley, Malik Beasley, or Kelly Olynyk. And I can’t see the Hawks being interested in any of those names. The club sits at 10-7 and is 3.0 games back of the Eastern Conference leading Celtics. The Hawks don’t need to make major changes like moving Collins or Bogdan Bogdanovic, who has been mentioned in trade rumors. Nate McMillan needs to reel the team in and work through the growing pains. If it doesn’t work this season, make wholesale personnel changes and try again in the offseason.