Atlanta Hawks: Grading the season John Collins bet on himself

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /
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Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks and John Collins could have started the season better. They could have announced that they had a newly minted contract extension which would keep Collins with the Hawks for another four years, at the tidy sum of $90 million.

Alas, it was not to be and so rumors circled around the Hawks and their fourth-year star out of Wake Forest. The rumors reached maximum noise at the trade deadline, particularly when the Hawks said what they would consider as a minimum return for Collins.

Fortunately, both Collins and the Hawks front office were completely professional about the whole affair and they did not let it distract the team from what they wanted to achieve. Collins was, in fact, a huge part of what the Hawks were able to achieve this season, which was a berth in the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Atlanta Hawks and John Collins needed each other.

Collins had a Jekyll and Hyde season in 2020-21. There were games where he was simply irrepressible, getting putbacks from offensive rebounds, hitting the long-ball with regularity, and even getting Clint Capela involved on alley-oop plays.

There is, however, the other side to Collins where he appears to lose confidence in his shot, passing to another shooter rather than taking the open shot. These games are becoming less frequent and Collins was putting up really good numbers in a team environment.

The Hawks may now be in the box seat to keep Collins, after all, winning is fun and Collins may not have the teammates to help him get back to another deep playoff run if he leaves. Anyway, let’s take a look at the highlights for Collins’ season.