The Atlanta Hawks reportedly considered a John Collins-for-Ben Simmons deal

Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Brace yourselves Atlanta Hawks (18-25) fans, the trade winds have grown to gale force. Much is still being made about the trade that sent Cam Reddish to the New York Knicks, especially after they came into Atlanta just a few days later and got a hard-fought win. Just when it seemed the worst of it was behind us, a new report suggests the Hawks had another deal in their sights.

A big reason for the fuss over the deal was many felt the return – a highly protected pick and Knicks washout Kevin Knox – was selling short on a player that even Travis Schlenk has admitted has All-Star potential.

Now, per Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Enquirer, the Hawks considered an offer for Ben Simmons before agreeing with the Knicks.

The Atlanta Hawks are still a team to watch in the Ben Simmons sweepstakes

According to Pompey, the Hawks were contemplating sending Reddish along with a first-round pick and forward John Collins. The report goes on to say that talks broke down over the inclusion of Tobias Harris and the over $100 million over the next two-plus years which the Hawks had no interest in absorbing, per Pompey.

The idea they’d send Reddish and a pick is nothing new. He has been mentioned in trade talks since late last season and, as we’ve come to find out, requested a trade in the summer.

Throwing in a draft pick is also par for the course and usually comes in multiples.

The mention of Collins should make everyone’s ears perk up, though. In his fifth season out of Wake Forest, Collins is the longest-tenured Hawks player and the unequivocal vocal leader of this squad. He can be seen on the floor constantly trying to keep the energy up on the floor and has stepped up trying to direct the defense.

"“Last week, the Atlanta Hawks considered sending John Collins, Cam Reddish and a first-rounder to the Sixers in exchange for Simmons, according to sources. However, the talks stopped after Harris’ name was brought in the deal.”"

In his recent appearance on the Hawks Report podcast with Sarah K. Spencer, Collins tried to clarify his stance after reports that he was unhappy with his current role on offense. Per Collins, he just wants to be used more.

His usage rate is the second-lowest of his career despite him arguably having his best all-around season to date.

It hasn’t all been good, though, with Collins’ defense often coming under fire. He has been better for much of the season but has also had some really bad stretches and was lit up against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Not that it was the reason, but he was on the bench for the final 9:35 of that comeback win.

Collins has also been a driving force behind some of the Hawks better efforts this season, but, to his point about his role on offense, they are just 5-9 when he scores 20-plus points. Again, there is not necessarily a direct correlation but the fact is Simmons isn’t worried about his role on offense in that regard.

Related Story. Which players should the Hawks move next?. light

There are fit issues, though, that we have discussed before such as playing Simmons alongside another non-shooter in Clint Capela. Or how much value the 6-foot-11 Aussie provides without the ball in his hands.

Trae Young is having a career-year offensively but it has come with the highest usage rate of his career.

Can the Hawks convince him and Simmons to play more off the ball?

Young has been a detriment on defense too and the thought of Simmons teaming with De’Andre Hunter – and to a lesser extent, Delon Wright – would give the Hawks one of the toughest perimeter defenses in the league despite Young.

And, fit on offense aside, Simmons and Capela make for some strong rim protection. They had better if the Hawks and Sixers ultimately pull the trigger. Capela can’t be moved until this coming offseason thanks to the two-year, $46 million extension the Swiss big man and 2021 rebounding champ signed this past offseason.

He is currently out dealing with an ankle injury.

Simmons has yet to play this season. Much has been made about the last time we saw him. He was passing up a dunk with Young defending him.

The thing about all of the vitriol is that would have only tied the game with over three minutes to go in Game 7 of the second-round playoff matchup between the Hawks and 76ers. Atlanta won, advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals, and starting this spiral for Philly.

If the fit issues didn’t stop the Hawks from considering the offer rumored, neither will his absence to this point.

Everyone knows he is away because he no longer wants to be with Philadelphia so, clearly, they are banking on a change of scenery doing wonders for his disposition and perhaps, for their sake, his aggressiveness on offense. After the Reddish deal, Schlenk noted that not every team is in love with a particular player, but nearly all of them are interested in draft picks.

We speculated that there would be moves made when Schlenk eviscerated his team’s effort a couple of weeks ago. And that there would be more deals done on the heels of the trade with New York.

dark. Next. The Hawks desperately need another go-to scoring option

Now, if this report is indeed true, the smart money should be on this not being the last we hear of a Hawks-Simmons union.