John Collins goes into this year as the starting power forward for the Atlanta Hawks. He has to replicate his numbers from two years ago when it seemed like he was developing into an All-Star caliber player. Although he has yet to show that potential again, he has been a solid big man who is talented in the pick and roll and a player you have to respect from deep.
Last year, Collins averaged 16.2 points on 52.6 percent shooting. He shot 36 percent from beyond the 3-point line, which was his lowest percentage since the 2018-19 season. He averaged 7.6 rebounds per game, which is pretty solid.
On the offensive end next season his biggest contribution will be in the pick-and-roll game. Look for lots of this action between Dejounte Murray and Collins. This is due to Murray not being a good three-point shooter and Collins being the better shooter out of him and Clint Capela. He will be the main pick setter for Murray due to spacing reasons.
John Collins has developed chemistry with most of the Atlanta Hawks
The chemistry between Trae Young and Collins is definitely there. Collins is the longest-tenured player, having been with the Hawks since before Young was drafted. He was Young’s only real pick and roll partner until Capela arrived in 2020-21.
Young and Collins are the best pick-and-roll duo the Hawks have this season. While Capela might be a better screener, Collins has a respectable three-ball. On the defensive end of the ball, Collins definitely holds his end. While Capela is the better defensive big, you certainly have to respect Collins’s ability to defend in any opposing pregame plan.
The one area, he does struggle with is perimeter defense. The addition of Murray should help make Collins not guard perimeter shooters. Additionally, the defensive stud should be able to limit the number of times Collins has to go over on screens. Look for Collins to be a small positive on defense for the Hawks this season.
One thing that fans love about John Collins is that he is a great dunker. He competed in the 2019 dunk contest but didn’t have the greatest performance in the contest. Still, Collins is a very respectable dunker, and expect fans to want him to play in this year’s dunk contest.
When talking about Collins, you have to mention the trade rumors. He has been involved in multiple trade rumors for the past few seasons. This has been since prior to his rookie extension and it looks like the Hawks looking likely to go through this again with De’Andre Hunter this season.
Before signing his five-year, $125 million deal, it seemed like he would have been traded from the Hawks. There seemed to be a gap between the two parties and the Hawks were looking to shop him. Lucky for the Hawks and Collins, both sides were able to agree to a deal.
Even this past offseason he was involved in trade rumors for Murray, but the Hawks were able to get him without giving up Collins. He was also involved in other rumors for Kevin Durant (which was a long shot but still).
Hopefully, Collins might get some relief from the rumors and will be with the Hawks for a while. Considering the Hawks don’t have a lot of draft picks to work with (to potentially trade for a third star), it really comes down to whether it is a good fit. Collins is a good fit at the starting power forward position so he will be with the Hawks going forward.
If the Hawks want to make the actual playoffs (and not just the play-in), they might need Collins to turn into a third star. While the Hawks certainly have other ways of avoiding the play-in, If Collins steps up his production that could be the answer to this problem.
While Collins could step up his production, I still think the easiest way for the Hawks to avoid the play-in is Murray turning into an All-NBA caliber player. Still, If Collins could turn up his offensive production that could be the break, the Atlanta Hawks need to avoid the play-in.