The Atlanta Hawks are expected to make at least one major trade this offseason. But it will not be trading John Collins for the seventh-overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. That popular rumor can effectively be put to bed. At least, in its current iteration, it can. And there is a fairly simple reason why.
Many around the league believe Collins is on the trade block. Bleacher Report’s Jake Fisher reported that Collins is the player the Hawks are “most interested in moving” this offseason on the “Dunc’d On” Podcast. But Koonin tried to remind everyone that “trades are not that simple”.
That does not mean Collins will not be moved, however.
Hawks CEO puts popular rumor regarding $125M star to bed
Koonin’s appearance covered a lot of ground. He and the hosts discussed podcasting during the playoffs and even went into a discussion about the level of physicality between the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.
But Mike Bell wasted little time asking about the rumor from Fischer of Collins going to the Portland Trail Blazers for the seventh-overall pick.
Koonin treated that rumor as such.
“Let me break this down. We have unsubstantiated rumors from unnamed people about an unnamed trade. And how does the seventh pick equivocate to a $25 million player when trades have to offset money?”
The Hawks’ top executive put the exclamation point on his stance.
“I would say it starts with bull and ends with…”
He continued by explaining that, right now, the rumors are mostly smoke. But that could soon change.
“This doesn’t get real serious until, probably, Monday of draft week. There’s a lot of hypotheses.”
Koonin then went into detail on just how much in-season work goes into an organization making a trade.
“We have a locked room over at our Emory Health Care Sports Complex that has electric pull-down shades covering a whiteboard that has endless possibilities of what our scouts and gm consider…good trade. Because that’s what they do all year…Trades are not that simple. It’s not like we’re trading baseball cards in the park.”
After making the efforts of the “dozen, if not more, people who literally sit in a room 12, 15 hours a day” trying to make trades work, Koonin acknowledged that there are a lot of scenarios at play.
He also admitted he expects the Hawks to be active this offseason.
“I do think we will be…very active. Because I think last year, kind of the first year out of the last two, we had a full season. We had playoffs. You could see where the strengths and weaknesses of the teams are.”
Koonin cited the Celtics as an example of being patient and letting chemistry build. But there will be a shakeup to some degree even though he refrained from putting a number on it.
“I do think we’ll have several new players joining our team…by free agency, and by draft, and by trade.”
We have seen several trade proposals since season’s end and, judging by Koonin’s words, there will be plenty more to come. Just not for the seventh-overall pick.