Depending on which Hawks fan you ask, John Collins might have either crushed his value during the playoffs or improved it mightily. I tend to lean towards the latter, but fortunately, our opinions don’t matter. Collins’ value will be determined by whatever a team is willing to pay him this offseason, and according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, that could be a max contract.
Across the league, many believe Hawks forward/center John Collins increased his value as a maximum contract-caliber player during Atlanta’s run to the Eastern Conference finals. In 18 postseason games, Collins averaged 13.9 points, 8.7 rebounds and 35.7 percent 3-point shooting.
Dallas, Miami, San Antonio and Minnesota are among the teams expected to show interest in Collins, believing he could be attainable as a restricted free agent, sources said.
We’ve already talked about Collins’ contract situation plenty this offseason, and I’m sure the conversations around him will be nonstop between now and early August when NBA free agency begins. The Hawks can match any contract Collins signs this summer, but as Charania points out, rival teams believe he is an attainable restricted free agent.
Travis Schlenk has already stated that he plans to attempt to re-sign Collins before he is courted by the rest of the league. However, Collins is a smart young man, I expect him to test the open market and try to sign for as much as he possibly can, forcing Atlanta’s hand. It’s very possible this ends up being a high-stakes game of chicken, but since the Hawks can go well over the cap to bring back Collins using his bird rights, I still think he will end up staying in Atlanta for the foreseeable future.