Atlanta Hawks players that will contend for awards in 2018

TARRYTOWN, NY - AUGUST 11: John Collins
TARRYTOWN, NY - AUGUST 11: John Collins /
5 of 5

John Collins: Rookie Of The Year, All-Rookie Team

Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks /

I’m not going to go into detail analyzing John Collins as this has already been done plenty of times on the site. With that being said, let’s talk about his exposure in his rookie year. How well John Collins plays, his playing time, and his national recognition completely depend on how Coach Budenholzer uses him.

In an extremely unlikely scenario, Collins is a starter from game one after the organization decides to go in a “full rebuild” (fancy term for completely tanking to shoot for the #1 pick).

After early struggles with occasional flashes of greatness through his first 25-30 games, he finds a groove and sticks with it. He finishes the season strong, becoming one of the go-to options for the Hawks and becoming a household name on SportsCenter with his high-flying posters.

While shining on a struggling Hawks team, he is recognized as one of the Rookie of the Year candidates. This scenario is unlikely as Budenholzer will probably go with Ersan Ilyasova as the starting power forward in the beginning of the season.

However, while unlikely, Collins accomplishing a lot given a starting role is very likely and could give him a shot at the award.

The Atlanta Hawks would start Ilyasova for two reasons. First being to test the waters and see if this team could potentially perform better than expected (a la ’14-’15 Hawks). Give him credit. He is a proven scorer who can make a defender look foolish from the post and from behind the arc, and he is a very reliable rebounder.

If the team is to win, he needs to be the starting power forward. The other reason for him starting would be to bolster his trade value. If he plays well, there will be at least a dozen teams calling the Hawks front office to inquire about the veteran scorer who can propel any team and is on an extremely cheap one-year deal.

If Ilyasova does indeed end up starting for at least the first half of the season, Collins will see role player minutes, anywhere between 12-22 per game. As long as he receives 16+ minutes per game, he should easily make an All-Rookie team with his flashiness, rebounding, and finishing ability.

He is the future for the Hawks and has the potential to bring home numerous All-Star awards. For now however, look for him to snag and All-Rookie spot. Also, this isn’t technically an award, but have him as a sleeper for the Rising Stars Game MVP as well.

 Predicted Statistics: 8.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.6 apg          48%/29%/74%