At this point, roughly 20% of the league has been rumored to have interest in trading for Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins. Nothing has been close but there have been talks with the Hawks reportedly engaging at least one of the interested parties on the high-flying forward. After two years of speculation, this has become the norm for Collins and the Hawks.
Well, the list got a little bit longer as a new, somewhat surprising potential destination emerged amid a new batch of trade intel. Collins has already been linked to the Brooklyn Nets, Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz, and Washington Wizards among others.
The Hawks have engaged with Brooklyn regarding Collins several times while Phoenix’s interest is said to be limited by Collins’ contract.
But his remaining three years and $78.5 million would be no issue for this new team.
Atlanta Hawks star John Collins could be on Indiana Pacers Radar
“Another team to keep an eye on as a Collins destination is Indiana.” writes Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports. “Sources said the Pacers have told inquiring teams they’re searching for a power forward to join their rebuild that features a blooming backcourt of Tyrese Haliburton and Bennedict Mathurin.”
The Pacers came into the season as a prime tanking candidate for a draft class that is headlined by 7-foot-3 phenom Victor Wembanyama but is also at least four-deep with blue-chip prospects.
Instead, they are 15-14 and sit seventh in the Eastern Conference which could turn them into buyers as we draw nearer to the February 9 trade deadline.
Collins, 25, would certainly fit their current and future timelines.
The Hawks, meanwhile, are trying to find their way out of a recent 1-5 stretch that has them below .500 and jockeying for position in the Play-In Tournament for the second year in a row which is a disappointment after the changes they made this offseason.
Although he is the longest-tenured player, Collins’ role has been reduced for the fourth year in a row yet he still leads the team in net rating, per Cleaning The Glass.
Fischer does not name any specific deal being in the works and, on the “Please Don’t Aggregate This” podcast, he added that this was more connecting the dots between a team’s need and a star’s availability. But previous reports state there is more motivation than ever to finally find a resolution to the situation.
Indiana does have a few pieces that could be of interest to the Hawks including Buddy Hield and Myles Turner. But the Hawks have players at both of their primary positions in Bogdan Bogdanovic and Clint Capela, respectively.
Capela is set to be out for the next two weeks with a strained calf while Bogdanovic just returned to action six games ago.
The Hawks will face the Charlotte Hornets next as they look to right the ship.
Collins’ situation figures to get more complex before it gets any clearer if history is any guide to how this will go. He is still out nursing a sprained ankle while the Hawks have gone 2-5 in his absence.