John Collins‘ playoff averages of 13.9 points and 8.7 rebounds per game (in 32.0 MPG) don’t jump off the page. However, people around the NBA believe the Hawks big man bolstered his case for a maximum-salary type investment this offseason with his postseason performance, says Shams Charania of The Athletic. Collins played a key role in Atlanta winning two series as an underdog and getting to within two games of the NBA Finals.
Since Collins will be a restricted free agent, the Hawks will have the ability to either sign Collins to a new deal themselves or match any offer sheet he signs with another team. Still, the club has projected reluctance to go all the way up to max for the 23-year-old, so a rival suitor could put pressure on Atlanta’s ownership and front office by presenting an aggressive four-year offer. The Mavericks, Heat, Spurs, and Timberwolves are among the teams expected to display interest, sources tell Charania.
Here’s more from Charania:
- The Rockets have been actively exploring ways to move up from No. 2 and acquire the Pistons‘ No. 1 pick, sources tell Charania. A report last week suggested Houston has been “fixated” on Cade Cunningham, the top prospect in this year’s draft class, while multiple reports have stated that Detroit likes Jalen Green and Evan Mobley, so it’s possible the two teams could be motivated to work something out.
- The Rockets have also been discussing veteran guard Eric Gordon in trade scenarios, according to Charania. Gordon, who still has two guaranteed years left on his contract, would be a better fit on a win-now team than a rebuilding Houston squad.
- Isaiah Todd, who played for the G League Ignite in 2020/21, is canceling draft workouts with teams late in the first round, including the Jazz, and is focusing on teams with lottery picks, says Charania. That seems awfully optimistic for a prospect ranked 47th overall on ESPN’s big board.
- Villanova’s Jeremiah Robinson-Earl has been impressing teams, including the Pelicans, during the pre-draft process, per Charania. Robinson-Earl ranks 60th on ESPN’s board.