The Atlanta Hawks have finally traded John Collins, reportedly sending him to the Utah Jazz in exchange for Rudy Gay and a future second-round pick, per ESPN. The Hawks have mercifully moved on after Collins lived in trade rumors for the past few years. He fell out of favor in Atlanta, becoming an almost invisible part of the offense at times.
Last season, Collins averaged just 13 points on 29% 3-point shooting. It has been a precipitous fall for a guy who averaged over 21 points and 10 rebounds on 40% 3-point shooting prior to the Hawks signing him to a five-year, $125 million deal in 2021.
That immediately became a depreciating asset, to the point that Collins is now clearly a negative. Atlanta passed on multiple trade possibilities over the years as it held out for a decent return, but here it is clearly cutting bait in an effective salary dump as it looks ahead to the possibility of having to re-sign Dejounte Murray, Onyeka Okongwu and Saddiq Bey.
While Collins is set to cost some $79M over the next three years (26.6M player option in 2025-26), Gay is is on a player option for $6.5M this year and then expiring. Utah can take the difference in salary on its books because it has the cap space to do so.