What would it take for the Hawks to trade John Collins?

dkf200122002 lac atl 1

Yesterday, Sam Amick of The Athletic revealed that the Hawks are listening to trade offers for John Collins ahead of the March 25th deadline. Collins, who is in his fourth season and set to become a restricted free-agent this upcoming offseason, has become one of the most efficient scorers in the NBA, averaging nearly 20 points on over 55% shooting from the field and over 40% from the three-point line.

Every NBA attempting to compete should be interested, but as Amick notes, the situation isn’t black and white. Collins is currently the Hawks second-best player, and ownership is hell-bent on making the playoffs. Moving him would severely hinder Atlanta’s chances of reaching the postseason. Unless… they packaged Collins in a deal that landed them another superstar.

That’s the most likely way I see the Hawks trading Collins, and I still don’t find it probable. Bradley Beal makes the most sense. The Wizards aren’t anywhere close to competing, and he can become a free-agent after next season. However, it doesn’t look like either side is interested in separating before the trade deadline. Washington is obviously fond of Beal, and Beal is reportedly extremely loyal and committed to turning things around. Most believe he will not even be on the trade block before the deadline.

The only other way I see the Hawks parting ways with Collins is if they are blown away with an offer. Technically, Atlanta could go on a torrid losing streak and fall out of the playoff race, but that seems highly unlikely at this point. The Eastern Conference is all bunched up, and the Hawks have too much talent to fall completely out of it. For Travis Schlenk — and more importantly, ownership — to green light trading Collins, someone is going to have to give an arm and a leg, especially since the Hawks can always match any offer he accepts in free agency.

So what might a potential trade that would blow Travis Schlenk away look like? Certainly not like this. Yahoo Sports and Celtics Blog reporter, Keith Smith, proposed that Boston should throw multiple young players and picks at the Hawks for Collins.

It sounds good in theory (if you’re a Boston fan), but the Hawks would (and should) laugh at an offer like this. Atlanta has plenty of young players and role pieces. If they are going to move a star like Collins, it must either bring them a better player or game-changing future assets. The latter means top-ten picks and young players with legitimate chances to become superstars. Grant Williams, Robert Williams, and Romeo Langford don’t fall into that category, and nobody cares about the Celtics late first-round selections. I’ll let Stephen A. Smith tell you how valuable those picks are:


The Hawks are at a fork in a road with John Collins, and it’s the kind of decision that can make or break the entire rebuild. It’s become overwhelmingly apparent that he will be very expensive in free agency, and Schlenk doesn’t seem to be interested in giving him a max-contract.

Reportedly, the Hawks only offered Collins $90 million this offseason and would not budge. That’s a serious gap, and the ground may never be made up. If that’s the case, Schlenk has to seriously consider trading him, but with ownership hell-bent on making the playoffs this year, it won’t be for scraps. A team will have to pony up some really good players or a ton of future assets for the Hawks to seriously consider moving Collins. Otherwise, Schlenk will take his chances in restricted free agency.

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: