Western Conference rival showing interest in Atlanta Hawks star: REPORT

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Larry Robinson-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Larry Robinson-USA TODAY Sports /

Another day, another rumor of another suitor for Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins. The annual trade winds are swirling early around the big man after quieting over the summer. Collins was the third wheel in Dejounte Murray and Trae Young’s exciting trial run together over the summer pro-am circuit.

The beginning of the season painted a similarly rosy picture with Collins averaging 19 points on 66.9% true shooting with 10.5 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, and 1.5 steals over the first four games.

Since, he is averaging 10.3 points (52.5 TS%) with 6.6 boards, 1.1 assists, and 1.1 blocks.

That has teams expressing their interest, per Shams Charania of The Athletic who adds that the Hawks are listening. Charania reported that the Phoenix Suns were among the “teams” poking around Collins and has since come out with another confirmed suitor.

Atlanta Hawks star John Collins drawing interest from Utah Jazz

Charania appeared on “The Rally” a few hours after his report on Collins came out and updated his list of teams checking on Collins. Phoenix, Charania said, is interested but does not want to foot the remaining two-plus years on Collns’ five-year, $125 million contract. But the surprising Utah Jazz might be.

Utah is 11-6 and currently sits second in the Western Conference even after divesting in the Donovan Mitchell-Rudy Gobert era.

The Hawks were linked to both at one point but got Murray in a deal they would do again.

But Utah’s interest in Collins raises some interesting questions, primarily about what the Jazz would be willing to pony up for Collins. Given their preseason outlook, their interest in trading for him is just as intriguing as their start.

It also means that players like Most Improved Player candidate Lauri Markkanen aren’t likely to be included.

Utah does have some other intriguing pieces.

Again, though, trading for Collins would likely mean they are at least interested in competing this season for a playoff spot and, therefore, less willing to part with useful pieces like combo forward Jarred Vanderbilt or sharpshooter Malik Beasley.

That deal could work for both sides and would kill two birds with one stone for the Hawks who just let the Boston Celtics shoot 45.7% from downtown in their last game.

They have otherwise been stout on the perimeter this year but every bit helps.

Not knowing exactly what the Jazz’s intentions are for this season clouds the picture of draft capital in this deal which would almost certainly have to be a factor. As useful as Beasley and Vanderbilt would be, Collins is likely going to be the best player in any deal.

Next. The $72M answer to the Hawks’ biggest question. dark

Charania’s earlier report said that nothing was imminent between the Hawks and Suns and, presumably, nothing has changed even with Utah being in the mix. Hopefully Collins – who has been in trade rumors for two years – and the Hawks, this saga gets settled one way or the other once and for all.