This, if you’re looking purely at rumors, is probably the favorite for potential Collins destinations. It’s no secret that the Hawks have been interested in Jae Crowder to bring some experience to their bench, and before him, Deandre Ayton. With the excellent play and ample depth that the Hawks have at the center position, an Ayton-Collins trade seems very unlikely.
When you consider that the Suns are hesitant to pay Ayton, it makes the likelihood of them taking on Collins’ contract – especially with him having a down season – fairly low. However, if they were to go after Collins, the Hawks would almost certainly ask for Crowder and more.
Jae Crowder is already 32 years old, but he plays tremendous defense that seems to be improving. His 3.4 defensive win shares were tied with Dejounte Murray for 20th in the NBA last year, and his 2.4 defensive box plus-minus was sixth-best in the league. On top of his defense, Crowder provides something the Hawks desperately need in three-point shooting. Whether he shoots 40% from three like in 2020-21 or 35% like in 2021-22, Crowder is sure to elevate the ability of the Hawks’ league-worst three-point shooting.
A potential trade might involve Collins for Crowder and a future first-round pick, or maybe Collins for Crowder and the injured Cam Johnson, Phoenix’s 26-year-old 6th man who can shoot efficiently from anywhere on the floor and plays solid defense.