Atlanta Hawks: Why John Collins may return for the money he turned down

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /

When the Atlanta Hawks and John Collins failed to come to an agreement the last offseason for his extension, Collins appeared to be betting on himself. He was playing on a team that appeared to be going nowhere and there was a huge amount of money available in the next offseason.

For a young player who wanted to be taken seriously and wants to be paid seriously, this would be some serious temptation. The Hawks went out and recruited accordingly, getting big man Danilo Gallinari from the OKC Thunder via sign and trade.

The Hawks appeared to be centered too much around Trae Young, and Collins would have felt a little disrespected. A big part of that was the coaching by Lloyd Pierce who did not have any structure to his play. He basically wanted Young to go out and create, which does not help the rest of the team.

What has changed for the Atlanta Hawks this season

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Well, for one, the Hawks have changed their head coach. Nate McMillan took over from Pierce just prior to the All-Star break and had a true Cinderella story of a season. This has resulted in the Hawks giving McMillan a four-year deal less than a week after the close of their season.

Another thing that has changed is that the Hawks are winning. Collins averaged more than 20 points and 10 rebounds in the season before the Hawks tried to sign him to the extension. The problem was that there were losing and did not appear to be going anywhere fast.

They then acquired Gallinari and Bogdan Bogdanovic in the offseason and had Clint Capela play for the team for the first time since the trade. While Capela did not have the best postseason he had an incredible regular season, including his first triple-double.

Then, just prior to the trade deadline, the Hawks acquired Lou Williams via trade and the Hawks just continued to roll. Having a team around you who knows what it takes to win makes basketball more enjoyable.

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He knows his role within the team and the Hawks should be able to make a deep playoff run next season. There are not many teams who have that to offer Collins next season with the cap space to do so.