Ersan Ilyasova is the vet the Hawks need for John Collins

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 7: John Collins Atlanta Hawks
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 7: John Collins Atlanta Hawks /

On Wednesday, the Atlanta Hawks signed Ersan Ilyasova to a one-year, $6 mil deal.

It may only be for a year, but Ilyasova will be key in helping John Collins become accustomed to the league.

With so many players coming into the NBA after just one year of being in college, it is important that young players have a veteran they can look up to and learn from. The Hawks now have that in Ersan Ilyasova. Hawks rookie John Collins will especially benefit from having Ilyasova around, considering Collins is also a power forward.

Ilyasova is the perfect player at his position for Coach Mike Budenholzer’s system. Not saying Collins wouldn’t fit into that system, but he’s more of a pick-n-roll player than a pace and space guy. Plus, Ilyasova has played under Budenholzer, and can assist Collins with learning offensive sets.

SAN ANTONIO, TX – MARCH 13: Ersan Ilyasova
SAN ANTONIO, TX – MARCH 13: Ersan Ilyasova /

Collins has shown he can score the ball in almost any way, but attacking the rim has been his bread and butter all Summer League and for most of his time at Wake Forest. Collins is working on his offensive game and it’s growing at a decent rate, but his defense still needs work. That’s where Ilyasova comes in.

Ersan Ilyasova can help John Collins become more effective on the defensive end by learning how to take charges at the right time, selling fouls, guarding smaller positions, and overall defense. Illyasova is a master at taking contact and making the refs blow the whistle. This is a skill that not many big men possess.

Playing good defense as a big man is just as important as playing offense with the versatility that comes from the power forward and center positions these days. Ilyasova can give Collins some pointers on stepping out and guarding big men on the perimeter and reading pick and rolls. Ilyasova can also guard small forwards, power forwards, and centers. Acquiring defensive versatility will help get Collins some major playing time under Coach Budenholzer.

Ilyasova is one of those guys that makes the right moves at the right time. He has good basketball IQ and can serve as a starter or a spark off the bench. Ilyasova does whatever is needed at the moment. He doesn’t try to do too much, but he brings a positive effect when he’s in the game. As good as Collins has looked in Summer League, he will have to learn the flow of an NBA game and make mistakes along the way. At least Ilyasova will be there to help soften the landing when Collins falls.