The Atlanta Hawks are playing their best basketball in many NBA seasons. They are currently riding a six-game winning streak, as they have not lost since Nate McMillan took over the head coaching job from Lloyd Pierce.
The coaching change has coincided with the team getting healthier, which has sparked their improved performance on the court. Atlanta is squarely in the picture for the postseason in the Eastern Conference. The biggest question looming over the team is, what will they do with John Collins?
Collins, the team’s first-round pick in 2017, turned down an extension in December and is heading toward restricted free agency. The team spent a ton of money this past offseason, so we know they are not afraid of handing out big contracts, but Collins wasn’t interested in what they offered.
As a result, they now have a decision to make. Do they hold onto Collins and see how things go in free agency, risking that they could lose him for nothing? Or do they trade him before the deadline on March 25th and get what they can for him?
Should Atlanta make him available in trade talks, he is expected to draw a lot of interest. According to Briand Windhorst of ESPN, the Hawks are receiving a steady stream of calls regarding the availability of Collins.
The interest in Collins should not come as a surprise. He has developed quite nicely during his career thus far, and at only 23-years old, there is still even more room to grow. He is a proven 3-point shooter, connecting on 37 percent of his attempts in his career and an explosive athlete, which helps him as a rebounder and shot-blocker.
Any team that acquires Collins could use him at power forward or as a small-ball center in a high octane offense. While the defense may be lacking at times while he is playing center, the potential offensive production would be through the roof.