Hawks Rumors: Collins, Young, Offense, Pierce

During a film session on Tuesday following a disappointing loss to New York, Hawks big man John Collins expressed some displeasure with the way the team’s offense has been operating and the way Trae Young has been running it, according to Chris Kirschner and Sam Amick of The Athletic.

Sources tell The Athletic that Collins talked about wanting to get into offensive sets faster and reduce early shot-clock attempts. He also said he wants to be more involved in the offense and would like to see more ball movement and flow.

Although there was no direct back-and-forth between Collins and Young, Collins’ criticism “caught the attention of the room,” per Kirschner and Amick, who report that Young later made it clear to others that he strongly disagreed with his teammate’s take.

“Trae is my brother regardless,” Collins said via text message when The Athletic asked him about the situation.

Some Hawks have agreed with Collins’ stance and believe that when he – and the team’s other offensive weapons – are featured more, the results are better, according to Kirschner and Amick.

However, The Athletic’s duo says there’s a belief that Collins’ frustration stems not only from a desire to maximize the Hawks’ talent, but from his contract situation. According to Kirschner and Amick, the 23-year-old – who believes he’s a maximum-salary caliber player – passed last month on a contract extension offer worth over $90MM. He’s hoping to prove this season ahead of restricted free agency that he’s worth the max, and may need the ball in his hands more to do so.

Here’s more on the Hawks from Kirschner and Amick:

  • Clint Capela had a private discussion with Young following Tuesday’s film session and pointed to his time alongside James Harden and Dwight Howard in Houston as a cautionary tale. Howard’s desire for more touches and Harden’s reluctance to give up the ball contributed to the dissolution of that union.
  • One Hawks player told The Athletic that he believes Young’s uninspiring performance on Wednesday stemmed from Tuesday’s film session. Head coach Lloyd Pierce called Young’s Wednesday performance (seven points on 2-of-9 shooting, with seven turnovers) “uncharacteristic,” while Kirschner and Amick suggest the star guard appeared “disinterested.”
  • Some Hawks players last season indicated that Young has room to improve as a vocal leader, and Pierce has encouraged growth in that area, per Kirschner and Amick. However, the “basketball relationship” between the coach and his star guard is still worth monitoring. A report last May suggested Young and Pierce haven’t always been on the same page, and multiple sources tell The Athletic that disconnect remains an issue.
  • Pierce, whose in-game decisions have been questioned at times by players since he was hired in 2018, is in a contract year, as his team option for 2021/22 hasn’t yet been picked up. However, a source with knowledge of the situation tells The Athletic that Pierce’s job isn’t in any immediate danger.
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35 thoughts on “Hawks Rumors: Collins, Young, Offense, Pierce

  1. Sillivan

    Hawks, Pacers and 76ers are playoffs teams, nothing more

    Expectation may be more

  2. wagner13

    Sounds like the Hawks and Collins are growing apart. I would expect him to be atop the free agent market next season if the discord continues. Some possible fits include the Spurs, Mavericks, and Raptors. Those teams project to have over $20 million in practical cap space, should be competitive, and have a positional need

      • wagner13

        So what? If the Hawks don’t want him back, they don’t have to match any offers

      • x%sure

        Restricted by a team that offered $90mil. They’re not going to offer what another team will, indeed now he’s on record being unfavorable to star Trae. Another oh-for page for Silli

    • Cap & Crunch

      Somebody will steal him away on a slight overpay

      Id love to see him with a real Pg…… I dont know if him and Wood could co-exist togther in the same lineup but Wall Wood Collins and whatever assets Harden brings in has a nice look to it ….they wouldnt even need to rebuild at that point

  3. KnickerbockerAl

    Ha ha ……. ha ha. What do you know. Another disgruntled ex Rockets player. Another teammate who criticizes Har en. Why would anyone want this guy.
    I can get Collins take. He’s a FA to be and wants to get paid. Considering Tre got his contract and he runs the point. He should get into offense sooner. Share the ball more. It’s all about wins. Collings gets his numbers off the offense. That’s better for the team. Collins is a solid talent. I would listen to him and work this out. This is a team game. Even if they want to move Collins and go with Okongwu. They get more value if Collins is playing well.
    The WHOLE NBA knows Har en is a 1way Diva.
    Too funny

    • harden (mvp),wall, and wood

      It’s hilarious hearing Capela criticizing HarDen since he is the one who was responsible for most of the points he scored in Houston. Most of his baskets were lobs that HarDen threw to him driving the lane. Capela is incapable of creating his own shot and can barely make a FT, let alone a 3-pointer. He’s a really good player, but Christian Wood is a much better fit for Houston than he was.

      • x%sure

        Which only emphasizes the validity of Capela’s comments. He should have been on Harden’s side but he wasn’t.
        Harden’s animus to Capela could be the real reason he was traded for Covington, who the Rocks did not even want to keep.

      • Luke Adams

        Don’t think he’s specifically criticizing Harden — just saying that he and Dwight couldn’t get on the same page on how to share the ball and that it wasn’t great for the team.

        • Howie415

          That is one thing people never get about the Warriors, and especially Draymond. They get distracted by the 3s. The offense is centered around ball movement. The more assists they have; the better they are playing. And Draymond prides himself on feeding the ball to his teammates.

      • Cap & Crunch

        Not defending Harden here but cmon when Dwight Howard is in the story you dont “roll” on the other guy-

        Dwight is a clown, he didnt get passed the ball bc he has no clue what to do with it

        Geez the Lakers never passed him the ball either….. I know it all looked like blue skies and sunshine in LA w Dwight but behind the scenes I dont think the Lakers liked him one bit….. We literally passed on him for the Min

        I Will always remember the frustration of Kobe trying to play with this guy, said he was one of the dumbest players hes ever played with and this after Dwight had been in the league for a decade

    • x%sure

      And people think player evaluation is all about talent, K.Al. Some players increase teammate’s stats, some won’t.

  4. Luckylefty2

    Alot of these young guys only pass if it leads to an assists instead of making the hockey pass. That is starting to become the culture in America basketball. The only reason why lamelo got picked in the top 5 is because it doesn’t matter who is on his team he is willing to make the right play.

    • wagner13

      Obviously I’m not advocating for the league to actually do this, but it would be an interesting exercise to evaluate if athletes adjust their playing style if stats aren’t recorded

  5. El Don

    Oh well… all of these is nothing but ATL fault, as of right now JC’s primary concern as a pro athlete is his contract next summer, winning is good but ain’t paying the bills, as they say.
    If they wanted a team focused in winning they only had to do the right thing & offer the max to JC, which if you ask me was the easiest decision of all the rookie extensions, but hey, here we are… & right now I think ATL needs to make changes, get rid of Gallo & Bog… & due to their uselessness probably they need to trade JC before the trade deadline!

    • Sillivan

      It’s about trade value, you signed free agents to increase value
      If Knicks sign VanVleet Harrrell Wood and Ibaka offseason, Knicks would have more trade values than current roster
      In other words you can free agents for the sake of trade
      Hawks can trade Gallo and Collins for a good player who makes $30 million a year

    • Cap & Crunch

      Bold outta nowhere move….Trade Trae for Haliburton ( I know it would never happen ) but Haliburton is a better basketball player today for winning than the hype machine

  6. Sillivan

    I like Hawks asset collection
    I don’t like Knicks, Kings and Wolves asset collections from free agents

    Wolves traded defensive players Butler and Covington for offensive players, then got blowout every night

  7. Cap & Crunch

    I dont blame Collins, hes the best player on the team and Trae doesnt play winning basketball

    Atl feels like a mini mess, the type that will let go a star that they had right under thier nose walk when they had unlimited cap from the start

    Trae- One of the most over rated players in NBA

    Collins- One of the most under rated players in NBA

  8. Dxit90a

    Today basketball nba is all about putting a show and no team work . That is why the nba changed the rules to make it more easier for players to put offensive show. Players like trae young , etc would no of survived the80 and 90’s. Ball hogging is killing the game. A PG first priority is to be the leader and distributor and create chances for his teammates. Collins is right if Trae does not change he will not win any rings. Even though I am not a big fan of Lebron but he gets how to play team ball .

    • Cap & Crunch

      Great post my man

      I dont think its a dire change yet tho, scouts, coaches, Gms will still covet Pgs like Haliburton forever

      Its more just “new Gen” fans revel in Stats and GOATS and Logo shots so much that they push the hype closer to the front page of the newspaper

      Inbetween the X’s and o’s I still think old school basketball has a firm base…..you just see it more in the playoffs, especially post 1 st Rd

  9. petersdylan36

    I just curious, who will have the better career? Young or Gilgeous-Alexander?
    Young’s ceiling is higher but Alexander seems like he has a higher floor

  10. cwr_12

    They are absolutely different types of players because Trae is known as a point guard that can facilitate the offense and is an elite shooter. However Gilgeous- Alexander is more of a slasher. So that is hard to answer

  11. Collins is their best player, but the Hawks’ FO doesn’t appear to feel that way. Believed this for awhile. I would not have maxed Collins in an extension (even if I planned to next summer, if needed to keep him), but I’d have gotten closer than 90 mm. In no event would I lose him for nothing or nominal consideration. The signing of the 32 year old Gallo never made sense unless the team was either intending to move on from Collins or one or more of their young wings. I believed the latter when the signing was made (particularly after they stole BB), but now believe the former.

  12. phillyballers

    If the Knicks were smart, and no one is accusing them of being smart… but they should try to package Randle and Knox for a 1st and expiring deal. Get that cap as low as possible. Very unlikely they get a vet Star. They could offer more than anyone else for a combination of Collins, Ball, Allen, Duncan, Gary Trent Jr, Nunn, Bol Bol. They could just build themselves a young core to go with RJ. Just a thought.

    • Cap & Crunch

      I think thats the plan –

      I could see a big overpay for Lonzo and I love Collins so linking those 2 up ( Even at above market rates) would be a huge boon for 22 for Ny –

      Lonzo Collins RJ Robinson Toppin is a nice young mix – The SG will have to come in the future but at least they know exactly where they stand

      • phillyballers

        Wouldn’t be a terrible squad. Not sure they’d keep Mitchell if they had Collins. Probably try to deal him for draft capital.

  13. phillyballers

    Idk if I’m in the minority but the Bogdan signing was a huge waste of 18M in cap space. Could have made a move for Harden, DeRozan, DiPo with 30M to play with. Could have taken a bum off someone’s books and gotten a 1st too and give more minutes to develop your young core.

    • El Don

      @phillyballers… totally agree with you, I thought Bogs & Gallos’s were the worst signings of the off-season, really messed ATL big time.
      They had an easy job not to sign these two & max JC, & now they would be sitting pretty, looking to a bright future… it could have been sooo good, now probably will have to either dismantle the team or trade JC, either way ATL is heading to bad times & rebuilding, I guess it was good while it lasted, right?

      • phillyballers

        Yea. I mean they technically could trade Bogdan and Snell this year but they’d prob have to attach a pick versus acquiring one. You’d have to give up JC in a Harden trade. Could keep him in a DeRozan trade, but hes on a 1 yr deal. Wiggins could be had bc Snells expiring deal helps that cap situation esp if a 3rd team is involved. Idk, like you said they bleeped up.

  14. Big Man

    Trade Collins and whatever else to free up money and bring in James Harden. There would be no way a team could guard those 2 at the same time. Hawks could compete now for the title.

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