John Collins trade rumors: Hawks opening up talks with other teams, Suns among those interested, per report
The Atlanta Hawks were one of the busiest teams this offseason, as they tried to re-shape their team following a disappointing first-round exit in the playoffs. Most notably, they acquired Dejounte Murray in a blockbuster deal with the San Antonio Spurs. And even after a solid 9-6 start that has them in third place in the Eastern Conference, they aren’t done reassessing the roster.
In recent days the team has re-opened preliminary trade talks involving John Collins, according to Shams Charania. The Phoenix Suns are one of the teams interested, but are reportedly wary about taking on Collins’ long-term money. While nothing seems imminent on the Collins front, this will be a situation to follow until the deadline in February.
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To no surprise, Collins has taken a step back since Murray’s arrival. Now the clear third option on the team, his numbers are down nearly across the board. His 10 shot attempts and 12.6 points per game are both his lowest since his rookie season, and he’s shooting a career-worst 49.3 percent from the field and 22.7 percent from 3-point land.
With Onyeka Okongwu’s continued emergence and second-year forward Jalen Johnson showing flashes, it’s no surprise that the Hawks are looking to see if they can move Collins for a player who’s a better fit with this roster. Adding Murray while losing Danilo Gallinari and Kevin Huerter has seriously hurt their outside attack, and Collins’ cold start hasn’t helped matters. They are last in the league in 3-point attempts per game (28.6), and 27th in percentage (32.2).
Moving Collins for more of a wing who can space the floor would make sense, and may even be welcomed by Collins, who hasn’t always been thrilled about his role in Atlanta. Finding the right trade is much easier said than done, however. High-level wings are rarely available in trade talks, and it seems unlikely that the Hawks would want to move Collins for a role player; for all his struggles this season, he’s a talented 25-year-old who has performed at a borderline All-Star level at various points in his career. Collins’ recent five-year, $125 million extension, which runs through 2026, further complicates matters.
The Suns are an obvoius potential trade partner given the Jae Crowder situation, but it’s hard to imagine the Hawks swapping Collins for the veteran without some other significant additions to the deal. In any case, it doesn’t seem the Suns would be thrilled about paying Collins that kind of money for the next three seasons.
Collins trade talks are nothing new, and we’ll hear more about this situation in coming weeks as we approach the Dec. 15 date when players who signed deals in the offseason can be traded, which gives teams much more flexibility. Whether this is the year Collins finally leaves Atlanta, however, remains to be seen.