Analyzing whether or not John Collins could play center for the Atlanta Hawks.
It’s no longer a question that the Atlanta Hawks need help at the center position. The only question is, who will be that help.
John Collins has been a power forward in each of his three seasons with Atlanta since being drafted 19th overall in 2017.
Despite playing at the four, Collins led the team in rebounds last season, pulling down 9.8 per game, and is currently leading the Hawks this season with 9.8 as well.
Collins’ springy athleticism makes up for his 6’9 stature on the boards, and always seems to be in the right position for a put back.
Of course, assuming the Hawks can simply slide JC because he’s simply a good rebounder is a bit silly, even if he already is easily their best glass cleaner.
Collins has never been much of a rim protector, or defender in general, important for a NBA center.
His 6’9, thin frame would be an mismatch with most centers starting across from him, but I suppose that’s not too different when he lines up at PF.
To Collins’ credit, he has improved defensively this year, blocking 2.3 shots a contest this season, easily both a career and team high.
Offensively is were Collins would be a fantastic stretch five.
He can score from anywhere on the floor, and he’s always one of the fastest players on the floor, regardless of position.
JC is already a match up problem with slower power forwards, but slide him to the five, and he’d have the speed advantage night in and night out.
He would be able to hold his own on the defensive and rebounding side of things, but he could be even better offensively at the center spot.
It’s certainly something to consider as the Hawks continue to assemble their roster of the future.