Hawks big man John Collins is receiving “heavy interest” ahead of next Thursday’s trade deadline, league sources tell Zach Lowe of ESPN. However, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on the latest episode of The Woj Pod that he believes Collins is unlikely to be dealt, suggesting it’ll be hard for Atlanta to get good value for the 23-year-old, given his small cap hit and his looming restricted free agency.
“I think they can figure out John Collins’ future,” Wojnarowski said. “I know there was a limit they were willing to go in negotiations – around $90MM – on a (preseason) extension. … They can figure that out after the season.”
Brian Windhorst of ESPN (Insider link) conveys a similar sentiment, reporting that the Hawks have told teams inquiring on Collins that they intend to match any contract offer for him in the offseason.
While that hasn’t stopped the trade offers from coming, per Windhorst, Atlanta remains focused on making the playoffs and has been red-hot since Nate McMillan took the head coaching reins, winning seven straight games and moving up to the No. 5 seed in the East. Collins figures to play a crucial part in the club’s efforts to secure a postseason berth.
Here’s more on the Hawks:
- According to a team press release, veteran guard Kris Dunn returned to modified team practice on Wednesday and is traveling with the Hawks on their eight-game road trip, which gets underway Saturday in Los Angeles. Dunn, who is coming off of ankle surgery, has yet to play a game for Atlanta, but there’s optimism he’ll make his debut before the end of the month.
- As of Thursday night, 36 members of the Hawks’ organization, including 14 players, had received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. As Spencer explains, all of those individuals meet the current eligibility requirements in Georgia, while the three players who have yet to receive their first dose aren’t yet eligible.
- Injured forward De’Andre Hunter (knee) is due to be re-evaluated today. The Hawks have yet to issue an update on his status, but the expectation is that he’ll be available at some point during the team’s upcoming road trip.