Atlanta Hawks: John Collins suspension has ended

Atlanta Hawks John Collins (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks John Collins (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

On November 5, Atlanta Hawks third-year power forward, John Collins, was given a 25-game suspension. After Saturday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets, that suspension will be lifted.

In the 2019-20 season, the Atlanta Hawks are 2-3 with John Collins and 4-21 without him. Collins has missed 25 games since early November when the league sentenced him to serve a 25 game suspension for violating the league’s anti-drug policy. After Atlanta’s 122-112 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night, Collins is now eligible to play again.

What does this mean for the Hawks? Here are true-or-false predictions for how Collins will perform and shape the rest of the Hawks’ season.

John Collins will be Trae Young’s much needed sidekick.

This will most likely be true. Last season, Collins was the best player on the Hawks roster. That will likely not be the case this year. Trae Young has taken a huge leap into stardom, as the second-year guard is currently averaging 29.0 points and 8.4 assists. If Collins takes another leap and is more productive than Young… well, that would be nothing less than jaw-dropping. Young’s numbers will likely see a decline, as he’ll finally have someone to share the offensive burden with. Both will likely average between 20 and 25 points per game. That being said, the Hawks still need to make a move to acquire players that can help.

John Collins will be a power forward.

True. The Hawks need a difference-making center badly that can hit shots from outside the 3-point line, as well as someone who can protect the rim. That isn’t Collins. Sure, he’s young and he’s big, but that doesn’t mean he fits as a center. The team needs to pray the lottery balls fall in their favor so they can pick a new big in the 2020 NBA Draft, or pursue an alternative route to acquire a center. Collins is best suited as a four and shouldn’t be forced into a different position.

Trae Young and John Collins BOTH have a shot to be All-Stars.

This is false. Unless Collins comes back, goes bananas on the court, and leads the Hawks on a nice winning streak, he can be counted out of All-Star considerations. He’s simply missed too much time to be seriously considered. Also, it doesn’t help that he doesn’t have strong name recognition with the casual fans. Trae Young, on the other hand, will most certainly be an All-Star. It’s difficult to go on Twitter during a Hawks game without seeing Young drilling his latest half-court shot. His highlight plays, along with strong box score number (fourth in the league in points per game) make him an All-Star lock.

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John Collins is coming back and Hawks fans are rightful to be excited. Just remember to temper your expectations. Collins likely won’t be better than Trae Young, nor will he be an All-Star, but this is a young team with two young stars. Enjoy their rise to the top of the league. It shouldn’t be too much longer.