Atlanta Hawks: How much should John Collins’ contract be worth?

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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John Collins contract
John Collins contract Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

Most of the talk surrounding Atlanta Hawks forward and restricted free agent John Collins’ contract has been in yes-or-no form. Will they or won’t they match any offer he receives, and the more in-depth, ‘should they’ discussion. But both conversations miss on the nuance that comes with any free agent: what is the limit?

Of course they should sign Collins. And the idea of setting a limit organizationally is great if things happened in a vacuum. They do not. The economics of sports is such that timing is often the biggest factor in determining market value.

To that end, Collins should take full advantage of a dearth of talent in this year’s free-agent class. If that means he is playing elsewhere next season, so be it.

Determining Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins’ contract value isn’t as cut and dry as some might think

Extending the qualifying offer to Collins gives Atlanta the right to match any offer he gets, and reports are they’ve been giving the impression they will do just that. But with a value of just $7.7 million, teams won’t shy away from offering him. Collins turned down a four-year, $90 million dollar offer during the season.

Hawks owner Tony Ressler and General Manager Travis Schlenk have spoken about the salary cap, luxury tax, and keeping this core together. The overarching theme has been they will pay whatever the cost if the return is a title contender.

Well, the Hawks made the Eastern Conference Finals and were two wins away from the NBA Finals. They lost to the champs, no less.

That would seem to qualify the “contender” part so let’s look at the value Collins has returned and how that will look once it’s no longer coming at a bargain.