In the past Rosas has shown interest in P.J. Tucker, who won a title in Milwaukee and will be a free agent, and Larry Nance Jr., who is widely believed to be available in Cleveland. John Collins appears to be unlikely at this point, but Danilo Gallinari could be an option with Atlanta possibly needing to unload some salary to make room to retain Collins.
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When John Collins woke up from his nap, he rolled over and tapped his phone. It was past noon, meaning the trade deadline had already passed. There were no missed calls or text messages on the screen. “I took a big, deep breath, got up and played some Xbox,” he said. “There were no hard feelings. No anything, honestly. I was just ready for whatever was happening or was going to happen. And thankfully, nothing did.”
Collins understands how fluid the NBA can be. He knows business rules the day and that Hawks management has a job to do. That even as partners with similar goals, there’s inherent self-interest that drives every big decision a player and his organization tends to make. It’s why Collins turned down a $90 million extension before the season began, and why the Hawks did not offer him the max contract he believes he deserves. None of this overwhelmed Collins, but the deadline did aggravate natural strains felt before the season even began.
“I feel like once the trade deadline was over, I definitely felt relief. But before I was sort of stressing, like at the beginning stages of the season, because I was just thinking so much. How am I going to do this? How am I going to do that?” he said. “Once it was over, then I was like, O.K., now I can really take it out of my brain and throw it away. It definitely relieved me. But I went through that process earlier of, Man, what if this happens? or, What about this? Do I want to stay?”
John Collins was a big reason why the Hawks went on their eight-game winning streak, and he’s been consistent all season long. Interestingly, Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk said trade discussions surrounding Collins never intensified. League sources told The Athletic that Collins was made available in trade talks, but there were not any enticing offers on the table.
Sam Amick: The Hawks are done, a source tells @TheAthletic. John Collins and Bogdan Bogdanovic stay put.
And though one league source said Dallas is among six teams loosely engaged in discussions for Atlanta forward John Collins, but that Dallas wasn’t near the front of the line. Another source said that two weeks ago it was a near-certainty the Hawks would trade Collins, but now: “I think it’s 60-40 they keep him.”
The Wolves explored the Atlanta Hawks forward/center both during the draft in November and several times throughout the regular season. But the asking price was always too rich for their blood, and the Hawks have even more reason to dig their heels in now that they have won eight of their last nine games to vault up the Eastern Conference playoff ladder.
Collins made an impassioned plea to remain with the Hawks on Tuesday, and rival execs say Atlanta has not operated like a team eager to move him. A team to watch is Charlotte, which could cobble together a Devonte’ Graham/Cody Zeller/draft pick package.
Meanwhile, a source told The News that Atlanta seems increasingly more likely to keep restricted-free-agent-to-be John Collins as the hot Hawks push for homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
While in the midst of a galvanizing eight-game winning streak led by interim head coach Nate McMillan, the Atlanta Hawks are becoming increasingly reluctant to move their starting power forward [John Collins] by the March 25 trade deadline, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Furthermore, the Hawks haven’t been overly thrilled with the offerings. For instance, the Dallas Mavericks proposed a package featuring sharpshooter Maxi Kleber, sources said.
Though the Hawks’ demands for Collins have been similar to Orlando’s Gordon price tag, Atlanta’s initial response to Boston’s pursuit of the 23-year-old forward was to build a larger deal around Jaylen Brown, league sources tell The Athletic’s Chris Kirschner. Since the 24-year-old All-Star plays the most valuable position in the game and just started a below market four-year deal, that was not going anywhere unless Atlanta was looking to include Trae Young and DeAndre Hunter, their two main building blocks. Trades for young top picks with long-term control like this are exceedingly rare, especially once they have hit the All-Star threshold.
Boston’s pursuit of Collins also involves another key Hawks rotation player, according to league sources: Bogdan Bogdanovic, whom the Celtics had some trade discussions about while he was in Sacramento. If the Hawks were to acquire Ball, maybe moving Bogdanovic would make some sense. Both Collins, 23, and Bogdanovic, 28, fit the timeline of All-Stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who are 23 and 24, yet are good enough to compete now.
League sources say Atlanta is receiving significant trade interest for John Collins from the Celtics, Kings, Mavericks, Pistons, and Timberwolves. The Hawks want one young player and a first-round draft pick to make a deal, or a package of similar value such as multiple first-round picks. For example, league sources say Atlanta wanted Malik Beasley and a first from Minnesota, but the Wolves declined.
Take John Collins, for example. The Atlanta Hawks’ athletic big man didn’t come to terms on a contract extension last December and is now ticketed for restricted free agency. Sources said the Hawks have told inquiring teams that they intend to match contract offers for Collins this summer, but that hasn’t stopped the trade proposals from coming.
“John Collins, I think, is unlikely to leave Atlanta,” said Adrian Wojnarowski. “I don’t think they can find value on a rookie contract for him. They’re 6-0 since Nate McMillan took over as head coach. I think they can figure out John Collins’ future… There was a limit they were willing to go in negations, around $90 million on an extension. He’ll be a restricted free agent. They can figure that out after the season.”
Collins is drawing heavy interest ahead of the deadline, league sources said. Trading Collins is complicated for Atlanta, even as he heads toward restricted free agency. They are under pressure to make the playoffs. Collins is one of their best players — insurance for any Capela injury. He’s earning “only” $4.1 million, so trading him for an impact player would require adding other Hawks to the deal.
Whomever the Hawks decide to target, the name floating around from Atlanta’s end is John Collins. The fourth-year forward is set to be a restricted free agent this summer and could be in line for a nine-figure deal after he and the Hawks failed to come to an agreement on an extension before the season. “They’re worried he’s getting maxed, and they’re putting it out there they are willing to pay him if he gets a max but won’t be thrilled about it,” said an East executive. However, Collins’ $4.1 million salary makes it difficult to trade him for an established player, and a deal for the future — be it young players or draft picks — doesn’t help the Hawks make a playoff push this season.
Collins turned down an extension worth more than $90 million last offseason, making it clear along the way that he sees himself as a max-salary player heading into restricted free agency (sources say he’s pursuing an annual deal in the $25 million range). The Hawks, sources say, have long since begun talking to teams about moving him and appear to have become more motivated recently.
Another player of interest for the Celtics: Hawks big man John Collins, sources said. Atlanta’s asking price has been steep for Collins, however: A high-level first-round draft pick and/or a talented young player.
With 13 days until the deadline, teams are beginning to sniff around Collins, including the Timberwolves, who Jackie MacMullan says are “dying” to acquire the former 19th overall pick. “Minnesota wants him bad,” MacMullan told her former ESPN colleague Bill Simmons (now of The Ringer) Friday on his podcast. “They really want him. I think there are other teams too, but from what I understand, Minnesota particularly.”
Darren Wolfson: From some correspondence with somebody close to Collins, that camp views this situation, the idea of Collins playing next to KAT as favorable.
Minnesota has shown interest in power forwards around the league, including Atlanta’s John Collins and Orlando’s Aaron Gordon, sources said. Both players have significant asking prices in the marketplace.
The Hawks are seeing if there’s a strong market for the former Wake Forest star, but NBA executives feel they won’t trade Collins unless they get a whopping offer. Collins’ value to Atlanta seemed to decrease when they traded last season for center Clint Capela. The team is reportedly listening to offers for Collins because he turned down a $90 million extension offer and can become a restricted free agent this summer.
Collins is an integral part of the Hawks’ core, averaging 18.1 points and 7.8 rebounds while shooting 39.1 percent from 3-point land. Atlanta has so far sought a high first-round, lottery-level pick if it is to move Collins, sources said.
Even if there was a quality deal to be had that added future assets, his production in the present is so crucial that it appears unlikely that he’ll be on the move. Nonetheless, sources say the Hawks have shown a willingness to listen to offers for Collins (this should surprise no one).
The Hawks also widely signaled that 2018 first-round pick Kevin Huerter was available via trade prior to draft night. Atlanta would need to include Tony Snell and one other smaller contract to match Beal’s salary. Adding John Collins would make the money work, and if the Wizards are willing to sign him to the max-level contract sources say he desires in his upcoming restricted free agency, Atlanta holds all of its first-rounders plus the Oklahoma City Thunder’s lottery-protected 2022 first-round pick.
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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September 24, 2021 | 12:28 pm EDT Update
Adrian Wojnarowski: ESPN Sources: Manu Ginobili is returning to the San Antonio Spurs as a special advisor to basketball operations. Ginobili will take on a player-centric role that’s focused on the development of players on and off the court.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Gregg Popovich, RC Buford and GM Brian Wright have wanted the legendary star’s involvement since his 2018 retirement and helped convince him of a role. Ginobili, 44, is a four-time champion and future Hall of Famer.
Shams Charania: The Detroit Pistons are signing rookie center Luka Garza to a new two-year contract, his agents Mike Kneisley and Odell Witherspoon told @TheAthletic @Stadium. Garza, the No. 52 pick, has his two-way converted to a full NBA deal.
Shams Charania: Bulls second-year forward Patrick Williams suffered a severe left ankle sprain and is anticipated to return in 4-to-6 weeks.
September 24, 2021 | 11:44 am EDT Update
Sarah K. Spencer: Hawks GM Travis Schlenk says it’s still the hope to get something done with Kevin Huerter by the start of this season, regarding an extension. Says negotiations are still ongoing.
Michael Singer: Michael Porter Jr.’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, to @denverpost regarding a contract extension: “Tim (Connelly) and I talk all the time, we have a great relationship.” So, yes, talks are ongoing. denverpost.com/2021/09/23/nug…