No. 1 to Cut Loose: John Collins
John Collins is a better player than he has looked over the past few seasons, and certainly than the depths to which his reputation has fallen. Even so, the combination of a thumb injury, the system around him and his role being marginalized have led Collins and the Hawks to a place where the two seeds have to move on.
The Hawks have certainly been trying, bandying his name around in trade rumors for multiple transaction cycles, but this summer they need to pull the trigger, no matter the return. Any team willing to take Collins on should be listened to; his value won’t go up from here.
Hopefully, Collins finds a way to fix his 3-point shot (29.2 percent this season after hitting 40 percent for two consecutive years in 2019-21), but that hope should be passed to another team. His time in Atlanta is over.
No. 2 to Cut Loose: Aaron Holiday
There was a lot to like about Aaron Holiday, from his family pedigree to his speed racing down the court. The Indiana Pacers made him the 23rd pick in the 2018 NBA Draft and he looked like a candidate to be their point guard of the future. Unfortunately for Holiday, his potential never came around to become production, and he eventually bounced around the league before landing in Atlanta this offseason.
To his credit, he shot 40.9 percent from deep on limited attempts. That seems to be an outlier for his career (37.7 percent) but on its own, it wasn’t enough to make up for the rest of his shaky game. He hasn’t developed as a passer, never gets to the line and the offense cratered when he was on the court.
Holiday is crafty at forcing steals, but lacks the size to survive defensively against anyone larger than he is; that makes him a poor fit to back up Trae Young, as the Hawks need someone with size in the mix, similar to Delon Wright a season ago. He should catch on somewhere else, but the Hawks should get a different type of player to be their third point guard for next season.