John Collins Talks Trade Rumors, Hawks’ Needs, Possible Extension

The Hawks are expected to enter the 2020 offseason with more salary cap space than any other NBA team, putting them in position to potentially add a major piece or two to their roster. It’s not clear if Atlanta will be more aggressive in free agency or on the trade market – or if the team might preserve some of its cap room for 2021 – but big man John Collins tells Michael Scotto of HoopsHype that he’s prepared to recruit players to the franchise.

“I try my best, as I feel like all other NBA players try to recruit other good players or other good friends,” Collins said. “I’m definitely always trying to hit up guys. I can’t tell you who I’m talking to or who I’m trying to get down here, I’ve got to let that simmer, but I’m trying to be GM J.C. over here, just know that.”

Collins explained to Scotto that his pitch to a star player considering the Hawks would focus on Trae Young‘s passing ability, Collins’ own willingness to give up offensive touches, and the team’s flexibility to offer big money using its cap room.

Collins’ conversation with Scotto also touched on many other topics and is worth checking out in full. Here are a few of the highlights:

On Collins’ name coming up in trade rumors before February’s deadline:

“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.”

On the Hawks’ roster needs:

“I can’t tell you, players, specifically, but I think we need just some veteran leadership. We need more guys with minds like Vince (Carter). Having Vince was a blessing, and losing him is going to hurt us. If we don’t try to cover his ability to have so much knowledge and spread it, that is so valuable. I feel like we need more guys like who have been in the league for a minimum of six or seven years, understand what it takes on a day-to-day basis to come in, work out, lift, get your body right, recover, eat, right. It creates a culture when you see five or six guys doing it consistently every day. Now the whole team is doing it every day.

“… We’ve got young guys in the locker room. I’m going to be 23. Trae just turned 21. Cam Reddish just turned 21. Kevin Huerter is 22. Bruno Fernando is 22. We’re all super duper young, and I know we’re all talented, and we have all the potential in the world, but we need some help and some guidance.”

On his interest in signing a rookie scale contract extension this offseason:

“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.”

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