After years of speculation and trade rumors, the Hawks finally dealt John Collins. The former 19th overall pick from the 2017 NBA Draft now joins the Jazz in exchange for Rudy Gay and a measly second-round pick.
It’s certainly not the haul of assets the club could’ve got when Collins’ value was the highest, but one silver lining is Atlanta didn’t have to attach any draft capital for another team to take on the rest of his $125 million deal he signed a couple of years ago.
Collins is entering his seventh season after averaging 13.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.0 blocks per game in 30 minutes per game with the Hawks last season. However, once upon a time, JC was a 20 and 10 guy. The 25–year-old Collins’ best campaign came in 2019-20 when he averaged 21.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per game.
“It was definitely tough seeing him go,” said Young. “But at the same time, this is a business, and JC knows that too. We’ve had conversations over the years, if we don’t win, things will change in a heartbeat.”
Professional sports are a business, and some fans forget that. There’s rarely room for happy endings, but there were still bright moments we can look back on, especially all of the high-flying alley-oops Young threw Collins.
“Me as a teammate, I loved playing with JC. I’ve thrown a lot of lobs to him,” Young stated. “He made me look really good a lot.”
Collins’ time in Atlanta won’t be remembered fondly because of how quickly his production fell off a cliff, but I won’t stand for that. Prior to being traded, John Collins was the longest-tenured member of the Hawks, and he provided fans with a ton of excitement, energy, and passion.
There might not be a more consummate professional than JC. The offense didn’t cater to him, especially with an offensive zero like Clint Capela playing next to him and two ball dominant guards. He was forced to stand in a corner and try to overcome a gruesome finger injury.
None of it was fair, but Collins never complained and did what the team asked of him. I hope he revives his career in Utah with the Jazz. Nobody deserves it more than John Collins.
Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire