Atlanta Hawks: What it means that John Collins is the longest tenured player

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks hit the reset button on the franchise when Travis Schlenk took over back in 2017. His first move was to select John Collins with the 19th pick in the 2017 NBA draft. This move, four seasons later, has been an inspired one.

Collins has set the tone for the rebuild, His ability to score, protect the rim, and rebound is something that the team has been able to build around. In the next draft, they added Trae Young and Kevin Huerter, with De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish being added in the draft after that.

Collins was the key piece for a year until Young was drafted and he was given the keys to the franchise. However, the connection between the two started and it has been an absolute joy to behold. This allowed Young to grow as he was able to play with a level of freedom that Collins allows.

The Atlanta Hawks need an aggressive John Collins

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Collins has spent all of his time in the NBA with a single franchise so far. This has allowed him to develop his own NBA personality which is crucial for a player to grow in the league. Collins used this time to develop an aggressiveness on offense and also on defense with his rim protection.

As he is the longest-serving member of the Hawks team, Collins has helped guide the culture. He is laid back and fun and this has been crucial for the Hawks. In the first three seasons, the Hawks were not a good team, however, Collins performed at a max-level in seasons two and three.

While the Hawks have bought in veterans to help out which has helped the team in the last season, Collins has been the mainstay on the team. He had a slightly down season and that is not a problem given the talent the Hawks bought in.

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Given the Hawks were so close to the finals last season, it is up to Collins and the rest of the starting unit to show that it was not a fluke that they made it to the conference finals. As he is the longest-serving Hawks player, he will help set the tone for the franchise this season.