That qualifying offer is a formality to ensure that Collins doesn’t become an unrestricted free agent. Although a qualifying offer technically represents a one-year contract offer, Atlanta’s 23-year-old forward/center is very unlikely to accept his QO, since he’s in line for a much more lucrative long-term deal.
Because he met the starter criteria earlier this year, Collins’ qualifying offer will be worth about $7.7MM. As long as it remains on the table, the Hawks will retain the right of first refusal, giving them the ability to match any offer sheet Collins signs.
Collins saw his numbers dip a little during the regular season in 2020/21, but he still put up an impressive 17.6 PPG and 7.4 RPG on .556/.399/.833 shooting in 63 games (29.3 MPG) and played a key role in helping Atlanta reach the Eastern Conference Finals.
Having reportedly turned down a four-year, $90MM+ extension from the Hawks last offseason, Collins figures to receive bigger offers as a restricted free agent, from Atlanta and other teams. There’s a sense that the Hawks will be reluctant to go all the way up to the max for Collins, but a rival suitor could force their hand with an aggressive offer sheet.
Assuming a 3% cap increase, a team looking to lure Collins away from Atlanta this offseason could offer a four-year contract worth up to nearly $121MM.