East rival ‘touched base’ with Atlanta Hawks about $125M star: REPORT

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /

By now it has simply become par for the course for the Atlanta Hawks who have been named in yet another trade rumor. But, unlike most hypothetical scenarios, this is a report of external interest in Hawks players. The Hawks dispatched the Orlando Magic with little effort to snap a three-game skid.

It was a costly game with multiple players leaving early due to injury including John Collins and De’Andre Hunter.

Hunter exited in the first quarter after re-aggravating a hip injury he entered the contest with while Collins’ injury has been deemed a sprained ankle which he sustained while attempting to catch a lob from Trae Young before halftime.

At least before Collins’ current injury, teams were still inquiring about his availability.

Brooklyn Nets checked in with Atlanta Hawks about John Collins

“I’m told the Nets have indeed touched base with Atlanta on John Collins,” reported Ian Begley of SportsNet New York. “Just interesting because the Nets I think are in search of some help along the frontline. John Collins could certainly help. Not sure how far along those talks went. But they have certainly engaged recently. So something to keep an eye on there.”

Collins’ slow start to the season – 12.3 PPG, 56.8% TS – and career-low usage rate (16.3%) have reignited the trade rumors with the Hawks big man reportedly potentially garnering interest from the Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz.

If any team has made an offer, it has not been reported.

But it was reported that the Kings almost agreed to a deal though it has not been specified if it was going to be independent of the trade that sent Kevin Huerter to Sacramento.

This is also not the first time the Nets have been linked to Collins.

Last season, they were a frequent hypothetical trade destination amid the Hawks’ rumored interest in Ben Simmons. Simmons’ demons aside, he has played well of late and wouldn’t seem to be a likely candidate to get sent out in a deal for Collins right now.

That makes it extremely difficult to fabricate a package that would be suitable for both sides. A potential deal could include Joe Harris and his $19 million salary. But the Hawks are already dealing with their sharpshooting wing recovering from offseason surgery, though Harris has played this season while the Hawks await Bogdan Bogdanovic’s ever-nearing debut.

Collins exited the Hawks’ win over the Magic with six points, seven boards, two steals, and a block.

He was one pace for his third straight double-digit scoring performance and averaged 18 points on 63.1% true shooting with 11 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 2.5 blocks over the two previous games.

Next. Nate McMillan sends strong message on Hawks’ bench. dark

Just as it was in previous reports, it sounds as though there is nothing imminent. But this is still a situation that bears monitoring.