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Michael Scotto: The question I think a lot of people are monitoring around the league is where are those extension talks with John Collins and the Hawks? John is a guy that I know other teams around the league have monitored closely because they are enamored with his talent. If a guy like that became available, he would command a lot in trade talks.
Collins certainly won’t lack for suitors if he’s made available. One can imagine teams such as Dallas, New Orleans, Phoenix, Charlotte and New York all being interested, in addition to several others that could be involved if the right set of circumstances came along. If he can play center Detroit will want him too.
John Collins is another player opposing teams will monitor closely. After averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds in consecutive seasons, Collins is eligible for an extension this offseason. Collins and his agents, Jeff Schwartz and Sean Kennedy of Excel Sports Management, will seek a maximum contract extension ideally. “I’m all in,” Collins said regarding a potential extension on the HoopsHype podcast. “I’m true to Atlanta. There’s nothing else I’ve got to say. I’m ready to extend.” If the Hawks and Collins’ camp are far apart on an extension, it could open the door for Atlanta to gauge his value on the trade market.
Michael Scotto: When I was talking with Lloyd Pierce, he told me he felt after you got your suspension, you had something to prove, and you did that looking at your numbers. What did you take away from the suspension? And, also for you, the first time in your career, your name surfaced in trade talks where teams were hitting up the Hawks and checking in on you. What was that like for you?
John Collins: The trade talks I’m always aware that could be an option just because of me being an NBA player. I get it. I wasn’t too hung up over that. Whenever I’m in trade talks, that’s a good thing. That means other teams are seeing my value, want me, and so I try to take it as a good thing. Now, in terms of the suspension and stuff, obviously, no one likes to see that, but I felt like I used that entire time to just motivate myself. I didn’t miss a Hawks game. I watched all the guys every time they played.
John Collins: It just really just gave me some time to think about my career, think about the mistakes I’ve made, think about the positive things I’m doing. It just gave me a little bit of a perspective shift and kind of just narrowed in on my goals a little bit more because coming into the league, you’re always wide-eyed, and you don’t really always understand what’s best for you and what’s necessary for you to be great. I definitely felt like, not saying that I wanted to go through that obviously, I feel like everybody doesn’t feel like that, but having to go through it and trying to bring some positive out of it. My body’s the most important thing that I have. I must value it with my life, so I do, and I will continue to do so.
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.
If the current trade buzz is accurate, the general market for young frontcourt players is robust, with league executives saying both the Indiana Pacers’ Myles Turner and the Atlanta Hawks’ John Collins, big men with the ability to switch between power forward and center, are on the trading block.
The Hawks are among several teams expressing interest in Rockets center Clint Capela, according to sources. Houston has received several calls on Capela, but is said to be unlikely to move him barring an overwhelming offer. Conversely, several teams are monitoring Hawks big man John Collins and feeling out Atlanta’s asking price, sources said. Collins has so far been part of the Hawks’ young core along with All-Star guard Trae Young. But the Hawks’ need for a more natural center is known, and they have expressed interest in Capela, Sacramento’s Dewayne Dedmon and Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams, too.
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January 26, 2021 | 2:01 am EST Update
Meanwhile, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported on a podcast with Andrew Yang, the former presidential candidate, that the Nets have their eyes on Drummond who’s playing on an expiring $28.7 million contract. ”People around the league say the Nets are hoping that Andre Drummond, the Cavs center, gets bought out. That’s what people say they’re hoping for but that’s unlikely because Cleveland is still in it,” referring to the playoff hunt.
“I just wish I would have known up front and not have to beat around the bush to figure things out. That’s just my motivation there. They thought I was done. Basically, that’s how I feel. This is my opportunity to show them that I’m not done. But the most important thing for me is get the win. I don’t care how many numbers I have, it’s about getting the win. That’s the most important thing because if I get 40 and then we lose, the trade don’t look as bad from their aspect because they beat us that one game they did play us. So, my ultimate goal is to try to get a win for my team tomorrow.”
Well, that’s going to be hard to imagine once you hear his extended thoughts on playing the Wizards on Tuesday, which he shared with NBC Sports Washington’s Chris Miller. Now with the Rockets, Wall admitted facing the Wizards is personal after how his exit was handled, and that he is out for revenge. “Just seeing everybody that’s over there, a lot of people that’s on that side that probably didn’t believe I could come back to be the person I am. And probably some people that had a little say so into me being traded,” Wall told Miller. “I feel like it was a whole process and it wasn’t just something that happened overnight. I think this was in the works. That’s my motivation. Who wouldn’t want to beat the team that traded them and felt like I was done?”
“Most importantly, all I really wanted from the start of all of it was just to be told the truth. That’s the most important thing and what made it so hard for me to understand what was going on because I wasn’t told the truth. I understand it’s a business and things go on and people move on and you get traded, organizations in different ways. When I heard the rumors, I called and asked are these true or are these something not to worry about? From that day forward, all I heard was ‘no, those rumors aren’t true, don’t worry about it.’ In all reality, it was true,” Wall said.
“Outside of James [Harden] not showing up to training camp and not wanting to be here, everything else was amazing,” Wall told NBC Sports Washington’s Chris Miller. “The most important thing is we couldn’t control what he wanted to do and at the same time as an organization, you’ve gotta understand they wanna handle it the way they wanna handle it.”
“He’s always happy. I’ve never seen LeBron mad — he’s always happy,” Davis told CBS Sports. “But on the flipside, he’s so determined and hard-working for basketball. So it’s a balance, and you’ve got to find a balance.”