Bidding farewell to former Atlanta Hawks star John Collins after trade to Jazz

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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We are expressing a farewell bid to the now-former forward of the Atlanta Hawks, John Collins. In a recent trade deal, the Hawks traded forward Collins to the Utah Jazz, bringing significant financial flexibility to the franchise. Let’s take a closer look at Collins’ notable moments, the impact on the two teams involved in the trade,  as well as the details of the trade.

A Versatile Forward on the Rise

Collins, a 25-year-old forward, has made a name for himself as one of the Eastern Conference’s top forwards. He was the 19th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft and has since become a key player for the Hawks. Throughout his six seasons with Atlanta, Collins has consistently demonstrated his skills on both ends of the court, averaging 15.8 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.

His ability to score efficiently, shooting above 55%, puts him in an elite group of players who have achieved this feat consistently. His best performances include his career-high 38 points in a game vs the Golden State Warriors in 2021, as well as 25 rebounds against the Indiana Pacers in 2019.

Unfortunately, all of these career-highs drop in the playoffs, as this is what separates him from the greats, and is one of the reasons he got traded. Real ballers can give you the same production when most needed, in the playoffs.

The trade between the Hawks and the Jazz will see Collins move to Utah, while the Hawks will acquire forward Rudy Gay and a future second-round pick. Collins has three years remaining on his contract, with a total value of $78 million. This trade not only provides the Hawks with financial flexibility but also creates a massive $25.3 million trade exception, making it the largest in the NBA. The Hawks have one year to potentially utilize this exception to acquire another player.

The addition of Collins to the Jazz roster is expected to bolster their front line, joining All-Star Lauri Markkanen and All-Rookie center Walker Kessler. With the offensive firepower the Jazz displayed under first-year coach Will Hardy, Collins’ arrival could contribute to their return to the Western Conference playoffs next season. The team also selected power forward Taylor Hendricks in the recent NBA draft, further strengthening their frontcourt depth.