Now that the Atlanta Hawks have finally traded John Collins and his large contract, there are going to be trickle-down effects to all the big men on the roster. One player who could benefit from Collins being off the roster is Bruno Fernando.
The Hawks sent Collins to the Utah Jazz and received combination forward Rudy Gay and a future second-round pick in return. There are a number of benefits associated with this trade despite the poor grade it has received from many NBA pundits.
However, with every trade, there is a flow-on effect and this one is no exception. Without Collins in the lineup, there are 30.0 more minutes per game to go around amongst the big men. While Rudy Gay came back in the trade, he is 37 years old and may not even be on the squad when the next season rolls around.
So how does the Atlanta Hawks big man situation help Bruno Fernando?
First and foremost, with Collins gone there is more money to go around and the Hawks also have a trade exception worth over $23.0 million for next year. Now, with the extra money around, it would be easy to assume the bottom end of the roster is not as important now but nothing can be further from the truth.
Fernando is not going to be paid over $3.0 million over the next three seasons. if the Hawks choose to guarantee it. The next two years of Fernando’s contract are not guaranteed, and then the final season is a team option.
It is by definition the most team-friendly deal imaginable.
While Fernando has never really displayed much offensive talent, he is a solid defensive center who can provide options for the Hawks’ coaching staff. Given that he is also about to spend a full offseason with two of the most elite passers in the game, he will potentially be able to develop into a lob threat and a threat on the offensive boards.
He is going to face some stiff competition for a place with both Seth Lundy and Mouhamed Gueye. However, he has been in the system for a number of years despite being traded a number of times as well. The thing is, the Hawks need to make a decision on Fernando’s contract by the 29th of June. If they do not waive him, Fernando will be owed $2.6 million next season.
Whether the Hawks decide to play him, keep him on the bench, or trade him, keeping him on the roster for another season is the right call to make.
The Hawks have very little to lose with regard to Fernando and his contract.