Just when it seemed the Atlanta Hawks (24-24) had figured things out with their five-game winning streak, they now find themselves heading in the other direction with a three-game losing streak following a 111-100 loss to the Chicago Bulls. However, there may still be a lasting effect from that successful run.
They hold a half-game lead over the Indiana Pacers for the eight-seed but have a treacherous schedule facing them ahead of the February 9 trade deadline.
Much has been made of the Hawks possibly being as close as ever to moving embattled forward John Collins. It’s been a lingering issue over the last two years but there have been an increased number of purported suitors this time around.
And it seems that another potential suitor has entered the chat but there’s a caveat.
John Collins suitor has ‘preliminary talks’ with Atlanta Hawks as stance shifts
“The New Orleans Pelicans reached out to the Atlanta Hawks regarding forward John Collins,” writes Bleacher Report NBA insider Chris Haynes, “but talks were merely preliminary. Atlanta is fielding offers for Collins but is comfortable keeping him on the roster past the trade deadline if the right move does not materialize.”
There is a lot to unpack here, the simple part being the Pelicans looking into Collins’ situation – one that has seen him admit he would welcome a change of scenery even if he does not truly desire one.
New Orleans would seem to be just the latest in a line of potential trade partners for Collins that has spanned both conferences.
But we did previously get word that the Hawks offered Collins for Pels youngster Trey Murphy III.
The Phoenix Suns have had an interest in the player but not the contract while there have been reports the Hawks have held talks with the Indiana Pacers and the Utah Jazz – there was even a report Atlanta sought breakout Jazz star Lauri Markkanen in a potential deal as well as another report of a three-team deal involving Utah and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Additionally, the Brooklyn Nets, Houston Rockets, and Miami Heat have all been linked to Collins in some capacity.
Nothing has come close to being imminent and perhaps a shifting front office is why. The Hawks have had a shakeup with general manager Landry Fields assuming full control of basketball operations.
More importantly, though, Collins has played better as he has found his niche in an offense that does not look for him much.
Collins has averaged 14.5 points on 69.4% true shooting with 7.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.0 blocks while knocking down 47.1% of his threes over the last four games. His usage rate remains in the mid-teens so, perhaps, Collins’ ability to show more with less has impacted the Hawks’ thinking from feeling they had to move him to more of a wait-and-see approach.
It could also be posturing to drive up the price as they see a more robust market developing.
This is the exact kind of limbo that has led to some frustration from Collins in the past, though he now says he tries his best to ignore the outside noise. The problem is we keep getting word that the calls are coming from the Hawks too.