After all of the talk about Collins potentially being poached away from the Hawks, the narrative has changed as free agency approaches. Earlier this week, Zach Lowe said on his podcast that there is optimism that the Hawks will be able to retain Collins. And today, Marc Stein reported something similar from the opposing point of view — NBA executives outside of Atlanta are becoming pessimistic that John Collins can be signed away from the Hawks.
Teams interested in Atlanta restricted free agent John Collins have grown increasingly pessimistic that Collins can be signed away from the Hawks, league sources say.
More coming in today's This Week In Basketball column at https://t.co/A6ycVm5PUQ
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) July 30, 2021
Collins will be a restricted free agent, so the Hawks can match any offer he signs with another team and retain him. However, I wonder if this means the two sides could come to a deal on their own before free agency. It would be nice if Collins didn’t test the waters at all and returned on a deal that made sense for each party. Either way, it looks more and more like he will be an internal piece to the Hawks core for years to come.