NBA rumors: No extension between John Collins and Hawks

Shams Charania: The Atlanta Hawks and forward John Collins will not have a contract extension agreement, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium. Collins will become a coveted restricted free agent in 2021.

More on John Collins Extension?

Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk has stated publicly that he hopes the team and Collins can agree to a contract, and talks are still ongoing. There’s no change to how both parties feel about the situation — both want to get something done. But there’s no incentive on the Hawks’ side to commit a year early when they can just go into the season and see how Collins performs with better talent around him and reassess this offseason when he’ll enter restricted free agency. Collins does have one major supporter in the organization who also publicly has stated his desires on what he would like to happen.
“I would love to see John with the Atlanta Hawks for an extended period of time,” Hawks owner Tony Ressler said. “John’s a really good young player and a really good kid. I hope we can figure out a very fair and reasonable contract for him. I know Travis is very focused on keeping John Collins with the Atlanta Hawks.”
Chris Kirschner: I do know that both sides would like to get something done. That’s been expressed both publicly and privately. I remember talking with John at the start of last season in training camp, and he was telling me that he loves Atlanta and wants to be here. He wants to be a building block alongside Trae Young. The issue is that he might come across if he remains adamant about being a max player.
Collins is young, athletic and offensively awesome, but he’s not quite a max guy. You’ll occasionally hear scuttlebutt that the Hawks aren’t totally sold on him, and if he’s looking for a max extension, I think Atlanta is certainly better off waiting. The Hawks still can match any offer a year from now, or go out to a fifth year if he plays so well that he becomes max-worthy.
Michael Scotto: You said you don’t like ranking yourself and let the numbers speak for themselves. Before the start of next season, you’re eligible for an extension. How do you feel about the possibility of an extension? John Collins: I would love it. I would love to say in Atlanta, I would love to be here, so I feel great about it. We’re in good hopes and good spirits with everything right now. Nothing’s really come up as of yet. Everything is still in the talks, but like I said, I’m definitely still in great spirits, and everything is going well. I’m all in. I’m true to Atlanta. There’s nothing else I’ve got to say. I’m ready to extend. I’m all in. I’m true to Atlanta. There’s nothing else I’ve got to say. I’m ready to extend.
For his part, Collins thinks he could be in the conversation for a max deal, and he’d rather figure out his contract situation sooner rather than later. “When we’re talking max numbers and money, I feel like I definitely (am in) the conversation to have earned that money with the Hawks specifically, but obviously I know there’s business and we don’t always get exactly what we want,” Collins said. “But I want to be a Hawk, I want to stay with the Hawks.”
“I feel like we’ve both invested ourselves in each other… I feel like we both want to see our investments in each other pay off. In that sense, I just want to know where I am. I want to know I’m locked in as soon as I can rather than having to wait, which I know happens, but when you do wait, a lot of other stuff mentally creeps in during the season while I’m tired, while I’m playing, ups and downs, injuries, but that’s also a part of just being a pro athlete.”
Sources around the league suggest there’s hesitation on the Hawks’ part when it comes to giving Collins significant money, which is why teams inquired about his availability. Based on his level of play, there’s a likely range that starts from Domantas Sabonis’ four-year, $77 million extension with Indiana to Toronto’s max extension for Pascal Siakam. “I mean, I feel like I am a priority to the Hawks in terms of my value in the young core,” Collins said. “I feel like that’s no question. Priority in terms of — I don’t know. I definitely feel like I am a priority to them. For a lot of money? I just don’t know personally. I feel like it’s been a unique situation, but I feel like my play has garnered a bigger contract. This is when you want to start comparing, but it’s just a matter of if they’re going to reciprocate the respect back.
“I definitely feel like I am in max contract contention. If I finish this season averaging 20 and 10, the other guys who are averaging 20 and 10 are max-caliber guys. I’m in that conversation and feel like I am worthy of being extended as such. That’s for the Hawks to decide and figure it out. If you want to look at numbers and flat-out play, I definitely feel like I’ve earned it. But the team situation, future cap and all that, now you have a contract negotiation.”
There’s also the possibility the Hawks will wait until the summer of 2021 to pay Collins and let him enter restricted free agency so the market could set itself. “I wouldn’t take it personal, but my antennas would be up, for sure,” Collins said. “If I can leave it at that. My antennas would be up.”
Sources around the league suggest there’s hesitation on the Hawks’ part when it comes to giving Collins significant money, which is why teams inquired about his availability. Based on his level of play, there’s a likely range that starts from Domantas Sabonis’ four-year, $77 million extension with Indiana to Toronto’s max extension for Pascal Siakam. “I mean, I feel like I am a priority to the Hawks in terms of my value in the young core,” Collins said. “I feel like that’s no question. Priority in terms of — I don’t know. I definitely feel like I am a priority to them. For a lot of money? I just don’t know personally. I feel like it’s been a unique situation, but I feel like my play has garnered a bigger contract. This is when you want to start comparing, but it’s just a matter of if they’re going to reciprocate the respect back.
“I definitely feel like I am in max contract contention. If I finish this season averaging 20 and 10, the other guys who are averaging 20 and 10 are max-caliber guys. I’m in that conversation and feel like I am worthy of being extended as such. That’s for the Hawks to decide and figure it out. If you want to look at numbers and flat-out play, I definitely feel like I’ve earned it. But the team situation, future cap and all that, now you have a contract negotiation.”
There’s also the possibility the Hawks will wait until the summer of 2021 to pay Collins and let him enter restricted free agency so the market could set itself. “I wouldn’t take it personal, but my antennas would be up, for sure,” Collins said. “If I can leave it at that. My antennas would be up.”
Collins is eligible for a rookie extension this offseason that wouldn’t kick in until the summer of 2021. He’s expected to ask for a deal that is near or at the max, according to multiple league sources. The Hawks could decide that he’s not worth that price and explore trading him this summer, much like what they did with Taurean Prince last summer.
If the Hawks land Capela, it means they probably will have found a new home for John Collins. Though Collins has had success as a pick-and-roll partner with point guard Trae Young, he’s expected to demand well over $20 million annually, either in an extension this summer or if he hits restricted free agency next summer. Atlanta doesn’t want to invest that type of money in Collins, considering his defensive limitations.
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