Grade the trade: Atlanta Hawks send John Collins to the Utah Jazz

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

Utah Jazz grade: A

Collins is far from being a bad player or one whose true value was represented by the seemingly modest return. He was as malleable as a player of his talent could be, acquiescing to teammates, perhaps to his detriment, but maintaining positive energy with his teammates.

And, when he is healthy and given opportunity, Collins has been a productive player in this league.

After battling through injuries that last couple of seasons, Collins made a career-high 71 starts this past season. That is also the second-most total appearances of his career – he made 74 appearances as a rookie.

Collins – who shot 41.7% from deep over the Hawks’ final four playoff games – now figures to slot into the Jazz’s starting lineup alongside 2022-23 Most Improved Player Lauri Markkanen and Rookie of the Year finalist Walker Kessler in a super-sized frontline reminiscent of Markkanen’s Cleveland Cavaliers teams of a two seasons ago.

The only thing keeping this trade from being an ‘A+’ for Utah is using their cap space on a player who is not only disgruntled but who has also trended downward for multiple seasons.

Still, it is hard to find fault in this type of flyer for a team that was ahead of schedule last season.

Next. Hawks held ‘significant’ talks with Pacers about trading starter. dark

Utah was a preseason tank candidate but finished just three loss out of the Play-In Tournament with a team of spare and unproven parts. Now, with an established floor, this move is seemingly in response to the increased expectations that come as rebuilds move forward.