Atlanta Hawks: Imagining the team without John Collins

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /
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Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Jason DeCrow/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports /

Who do the Atlanta Hawks replace John Collins with?

This then leaves the starting power forward slot open. The man most likely to replace Collins in the starting lineup is Danilo Gallinari who came to the Hawks in the offseason via sign and trade from the OKC Thunder.

His production has been down due to a number of factors. There was very little time in training camp and the preseason was particularly truncated due to COVID-19 issues. This put Gallinari behind the eight-ball from the start.

Then there was the ankle injury that kept him out of the lineup for an extended period. Now that he is back, Gallinari is only averaging 19.9 minutes per game, and he is mainly playing with the second unit. As a result, his season numbers are down on his career.

However, I had the pleasure of watching Gallinari last season as he helped the OKC Thunder to a surprising playoff berth. If he starts regularly, he will truly space the floor for Trae Young and also take the pressure off him when the offense is struggling. Plus the Hawks are not paying him an average of $20 million to sit on the bench.