Proposed trade sends Atlanta Hawks a $73M scorer

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

It’s trade season on the Atlanta Hawks as teams are popping up left and right in connection to one of their players. Despite a 117-109 win over the Denver Nuggets in their last outing there appears to be some friction in the locker room. And the front office has already started taking calls on one player in particular.

Fifth-year forward John Collins has been in the rumor mill for two years with no movement in any direction.

That doesn’t mean attempts to pry Collins free and place him elsewhere have stopped.

If anything, it has led to rampant speculation as Collins essentially hangs in limbo – a vital piece to the on-court product but one the organization feels it can do without. Perhaps this new proposal will be to the Hawks’ liking.

The Atlanta Hawks would receive Bojan Bogdanovic, Cory Joseph in this proposed trade

Collins, who missed the win over Denver, is in the midst of a career-worst season. His counting stats are all down and his 56.8 true shooting percentage is a career-low. At the same time, his 110.2 defensive rating is the best of his career, per Cleaning The Glass.

He has taken issue with his role in the past, however, and Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley has an idea of how to remedy the problem – send him to the Detroit Pistons.

[Bojan] Bogdanović is a cleaner fit as an offensive safety valve,” argues Buckley. He’s an elite outside shooter..and one who can almost entirely subsist on catch-and-fire chances. In other words, he could keep attack lanes wide open for Murray, Trae Young, and a rolling Clint Capela. When the initial actions don’t create anything, though, Bogdanović can slither his way to the basket or bully his way to buckets out of the post.”

Bogdanovic, 33, is shooting 40.9% on pull-up triples and 44% on catch-and-shoot looks.

The Hawks have two players shooting higher than that. But they are reserve big man Fran Kaminsky and backup point guard Aaron Holiday neither of whom approach the 5.7 attempts from deep that Bogdanovic averages.

Detroit signed Bogdanovic to a four-year, $73 million contract extension after acquiring him from the Utah Jazz via trade.

But he doesn’t necessarily fit their current younger group outside of being the veteran sage.

Buckley also believes Cory Joseph, 31, would be a better fit than Holiday as well given the former is a “much more effective table setter and defender.

Given Buckley’s stance on Bogdanovic in Detroit, it is not hard to see why Collins could be an attractive (and available) trade target. Collins would join a promising group led by second-year guard Cade Cunningham and rookie Jaden Ivey, among other pieces.

“As for the Pistons,” writes Buckley, “they don’t seem to want to be down for long, and the 25-year-old Collins can help perk them up whenever they’re ready. He could settle into a pretty prominent scoring role in Detroit. While his points per game have fallen for three consecutive years, he averaged 20.3 points on 57 percent shooting over the two seasons prior.”

The Hawks may have bigger fish to fry than moving on from Collins.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported a disagreement between Young and head coach Nate McMillan led to the former skipping the win over Denver entirely.

Still, the last check-in on the situation said that there was as more motivation to finally get something done about the high-flying big man. We also received word that the Brooklyn Nets had called about Collins’ availability.

A union that seems destined to end should also probably hold out for something better to come along, with all due respect to Bogdanovic and Joesph.

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But Collins has a 20-10 season under his belt and there is plenty of smoke to suggest that the fire lies elsewhere.