It’s no big secret that John Collins is a highly coveted asset in this NBA free agency cycle, but yesterday came and went, and Collins did not accept any offers — including one from the Hawks. Reports were that Collins would take some time to mull his offers, which was to be expected if he didn’t sign with the Hawks immediately. Teams like Miami, Dallas, San Antonio, and others were reportedly interested in trying to pry Collins away from Atlanta, but how many contenders actually remain to offer Collins a max deal?
Before free agency began, these teams had enough money to offer a max contract (via Spotrac):
1. New York Knicks – $52.6 million
2. San Antonio Spurs – $48 million
3. Dallas Mavericks – $33.5 million
4. Oklahoma City Thunder – $30 million
The Knicks used their Bird Rights to re-sign a couple of their free agents, but they handed out a LOT of money — notably around $20 million to Evan Fournier. With Julius Randle in the fold, I don’t think the Knicks are in the Collins sweepstakes, and they probably never were.
San Antonio was a trendy name yesterday, but like the Knicks, they also made some splash moves. After handing out $14 million to Doug McDermott and over $7 million to Zach Collins, they may not be able to offer Collins the money he is looking for. That should work just fine for the Hawks.
Dallas gave over $10 million to Reggie Bullock, and they brought back Tim Hardaway Jr. for $18 million per season, although they have the latter’s bird rights. That could effectively take them out of the running for Collins, unless they swing a big trade involving Kristaps Porzingis.
Oklahoma City is a sneaky contendor for Collins, and they haven’t opened up their checkbook so far in free agency. However, they are very far away from contending, and Collins undoubtedly doesn’t want to join another rebuild for a few extra million dollars… or at least I think.
With the amount of money being thrown around yesterday, things bode well for the Hawks. However, after August 6th, teams can organize their signings in any way that they choose. Collins doesn’t seem to have the market that he thought he was going to heading into the offseason, and unless a sign-and-trade is executed, the Hawks may be able to keep him at a reasonable price.