Proposed blockbuster trade sends Hawks’ John Collins to Warriors

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

With each passing game, the Atlanta Hawks‘ shortcomings are becoming clearer. For example, even in their wins, they have gotten by as the 29th-ranked team in terms of efficiency from beyond the arc. It has not cost them too many games so far but it has been a noticeable shortfall.

At the top of the list of red flags are the Hawks’ dynamic Big Three of John Collins, Dejounte Murray, and Trae Young as the trio is shooting a combined 62-for-205 (30.2%) from outside.

Murray has never been a great three-point shooter and Young should bounce back.

That just leaves Collins who fit nicely with the other two during pro-am runs this summer but has struggled to sustain a groove so far this year. As such, the trade rumors that have followed Collins for the last two seasons have returned.

John Collins would join the Golden State Warriors if the Atlanta Hawks pursued this trade

“There’s another guy out there who’s much cheaper and is definitely more durable who, by all accounts should be available,” said Morten Jensen on a recent episode of ‘The NBA Podcast’ with Bryan Toporek. “There’s a John Collins right out there. If a team is looking at [Anthony Davis]…why wouldn’t you?”

The context of the discussion was the Golden State Warriors who are coming off their fourth championship in eight years but would find themselves out of even the Play-In Tournament if the season ended today.

Their issues have been counting on several unproven younger players but the focus of the conversation was Collins in the Bay.

“For whatever reason,” continued Jensen, “the Hawks have just tanked his trade value. He’s one of those guys where you just know if he gets to a new situation…he’s going to be just fine. So, why wouldn’t you, especially knowing if you’re the Warriors and you’re paying that much money for a myriad of guys, why would you want to just…go for Collins instead [of Davis]?”

Collins has not been on the trade block so much as he has been available in the right deal just as most of the roster is. But there were reports that his representatives once tried to orchestrate a trade for the 6-foot-9 high-flyer.

Drafted 19th overall in 2017, Collins signed a five-year, $125 million contract following the 2021 season after a brief venture into restricted free agency.

He battled through foot and finger issues last season with the former still somewhat of an issue.

Jonathan Kuminga flashed tremendous potential last season but his production has dipped right along with his minutes. James Wiseman meanwhile has flashed even less than Kuminga with the added concern of injuries that knocked him out last season.

The biggest roadblock to this deal could be that, beyond Wiseman and Kuminga, the Warriors are heavy on guards and light on the kind of wing players the Hawks roster currently lacks. They could include Jordan Poole before his massive contract extension kicks in given his rough start to the season — or another guard and flip them in a subsequent deal.

But that is as much of a longshot as the Hawks giving up on Collins despite all of the chatter, at least at this point and for this particular package.

They have maintained a high asking price in reports and his minutes are up from last season.

The Hawks do not want to trade for Anthony Davis. dark. Next

This is a rough patch for Collins, to be sure. But opinions of him remain high enough for his name to come up in hypothetical scenarios to salvage championship aspirations. The Hawks would be wise to figure out how to get Collins back to his summer form.