How the Atlanta Hawks’ new culture will benefit John Collins

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

John Collins was one of the standout rookies featured in Summer League and now has the chance to mature under veteran presences in the NBA.

Atlanta’s frontcourt is largely set with free agency dwindling down with the Hawks looking to add another backup point guard into the fold. John Collins will feature alongside new additions Dewayne Dedmon and Miles Plumlee as well as familiar faces Ersan Ilyasova and Mike Muscala.

The rookie displayed his versatility in Las Vegas to back up his impressive season at Wake Forest prior to being drafted. As per Basketball Reference, in 33 games last year Collins shot 62.2% from the field, averaging 19.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.

With his dominant post play and highlight reel filled to the brim with crowd-pleasing dunks, John Collins earned First Team honors for the NBA Summer League alongside other standout rookies.

Travis Schlenk has commented often on how he hopes to morph this Hawks franchise to have the necessary flexibility deemed necessary to be built into a contender over the next couple years. This comes with dumping pricey contracts in favor of cheaper veteran options to support the younger core. Schlenk had this to say on an article.

"“We want to develop the young players we have and we’ll potentially have five first-round picks in the next few years of the draft. You really want to have three ways to get talent in this league: draft, trades and free agents. We’re going to use all three but it’s certainly easiest to get star players through the draft. It’s hard to trade for them and sign them. There’s all kind of ways to get a star. Maybe we look to package a few of those picks to move up.”"

John Collins will without a doubt see meaningful minutes as the Hawks look to start again after the departure Howard and Millsap, and Dedmon and Ilyasova will only serve to help acclimate Collins to life in the NBA on both sides of the court.

John Collins
John Collins /

Dedmon made important contributions on the defensive end during a 76-game season with San Antonio. He managed an average of 6.5 rebounds, 0.8 blocks, and 0.5 steals per game. He will no doubt be a mentor for Collins who the Hawks will hope can grow into an impactful role as a stalwart on defense.

Ilyasova on the other hand has proven to be an offensive threat. His 9-year career boasts an average of 11.0 points per game and shooting 36.6% from three, serving primarily as an impact player off the bench. Collins will learn from Ilyasova and continue to extend his range past the paint and maybe even beyond the perimeter.

Next: Hawks will sign third point guard

Certainly having announced himself, John Collins will now look to thrive under the wings of his veteran teammates as his NBA career kicks off. Atlanta fans have had no reason to doubt Schlenk’s methods as of yet and hopefully will be singing his praises soon.