Proposed trade swaps John Collins for former Atlanta Hawks draftee

Things have slowed considerably for the Atlanta Hawks since making the blockbuster trade for All-Star guard Dejounte Murray. But how close are they to another significant move to complete their revamp? They already traded away one starter and one bench player getting Murray and (primarily) future draft capital in return.

But there is still the situation with John Collins lingering in the foreground. At one point his exit seemed imminent.

Then, nothing happened on the trade front. And head coach Nate McMillan spoke as if Collins was a part of what he planned on the Hawks doing next season, comments essentially echoed by general manager Landry Fields.

That does not mean the Collins proposals have ceased yet.

Kelly Oubre Jr. and James Bouknight could help shore up the Atlanta Hawks’ defense

The news around Collins has been slow as has his market. It was a similar situation during his free agency last summer. We heard rumors of the Portland Trail Blazers and Sacramento Kings being interested. But that was before the draft and the Hawks ultimately traded Kevin Huerter to Sacramento.

But Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley writes that they could go a step further and could turn to a division rival to do so.

“While it’s possible the Hawks could follow their blockbuster trade for Dejounte Murray with another all-in push, they could instead pivot toward someone who better balances the roster and helps recoup assets… so this would swap [Collins] for a two-way wing, a recent lottery pick and an upcoming first-rounder.”

Hawks Get
James Bouknight
Kelly Oubre Jr.
Protected 2023 1st Rd Pick (via DEN)
Hornets Get
John Collins

Kelly Oubre Jr. was originally a Hawks draft pick, taken 15th-overall in the 2015 NBA Draft. But he was traded on draft night for a package that included Tim Hardaway Jr. Oubre averaged 15.0 points and 4.0 rebounds last season but shot just 34.5% from deep.

He did average 1.5 assists and 1.0 steals, though.

James Bouknight averaged 4.6 points while shooting 34.7% from three. He also had to be escorted away from a confrontation with former Hornets head coach James Borrego.

“Adding Oubre could be another step toward shoring up Atlanta’s 26th-ranked defense, plus he could excel playing off the Hawks’ electric backcourt as a slasher and spot-up shooter. Bouknight, last year’s No. 11 pick, has all the makings of (at least) an instant-offense spark, and the first-rounder would offset one of the three sent out for Murray.”

We saw a similar proposal earlier in the offseason that featured Oubre alongside Terry Rozier and P.J. Washington. Neither package stands out in particular. But this new one does at least give the Hawks some flexibility.

Atlanta has been understandably reluctant to just give Collins away.

He was in rarified air statistically last season too as one of just seven players to average at least 16 points and 7.0 rebounds while shooting 36.0% or better from three-point distance.

The draft capital could be the kicker as the Hawks moved a second-rounder during this draft to save some money and avoid paying the luxury tax. But it’s hard to envision the Hawks want to move Collins to Charlotte even if both sides want a split.