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Report: Hawks increasingly likely to trade John Collins

Hawks big John Collins vs. Celtics

BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 7: John Collins #20 of the Atlanta Hawks drives to the basket during the game against the Boston Celtics on February 7, 2020 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

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John Collins might be the odd big out with the Hawks.

Atlanta traded for center Clint Capela at last year’s deadline. The Hawks took center-power forward Onyeka Okongwu with the No. 6 pick in last year’s draft. They signed Danilo Gallinari, who should primarily play power forward, to a big contract last offseason. De’Andre Hunter, who can play both forward spots, is one of the NBA’s most improved players.

Collins rejected a contract extension reportedly worth more than $90 million. He’s heading toward restricted free agency this summer. He also clashed with the Hawks’ franchise player, Trae Young.

Sam Amick of The Athletic:

The Hawks, sources say, have long since begun talking to teams about moving him and appear to have become more motivated recently.
the closer we get to the deadline, the more likely it seems that Collins will be moved.
The Hawks are pushing hard for a productive young prospect to come their way in return

The Hawks (19-20) have won five straight to climb to eighth in the Eastern Conference. They badly want to make the playoffs this year.

But Amick accounted for Atlanta’s surge. The takeaway is still that a Collins trade seems more likely.

The Timberwolves are reportedly dying to add Collins. The Celtics are also interested, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Collins is a talented, athletic, productive young player. Teams should want him.

There are catches, though. He has defensive limitations. There’s an abundance of solid bigs league-wide. Collins is due for a massive raise this summer.

Those factors will depress the offers Atlanta receives. So will prioritizing players who’d help the Hawks this year (rather than being open to a return based on draft picks).

So, it’s still very possible Atlanta doesn’t receive a satisfactory offer. But if they know they’re unwilling to match the lucrative offer sheets Collins is expected to draw this summer, the Hawks should – at the very least – strongly explore the trade market now.