Hawks big man John Collins has grown increasingly frustrated with his role in Atlanta, multiple sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic. Although Collins signed a five-year, $125MM contract with the team in the offseason, his usage rate and scoring average (17.5 PPG) are the lowest they’ve been since he was a rookie in 2017/18.
According to Charania, Collins has challenged his Hawks teammates in the locker room multiple times this season, encouraging them to play team basketball. He has “felt his voice go unheard,” Charania adds.
Although Charania doesn’t explicitly state that Collins is a candidate to be traded before this year’s deadline, he notes that the Hawks are a team to watch in the Ben Simmons sweepstakes, echoing a Friday report from Marc Stein. If Atlanta is willing to make Collins available, it would certainly increase the number of trade possibilities open to the team.
Here’s more from Charania:
- Besides Atlanta, the Kings, Trail Blazers, Timberwolves, and Pacers are among the clubs still in the mix for Simmons, according to Charania, who says the Sixers don’t appear any closer to moving the Defensive Player of the Year runner-up than they were prior to the season. Philadelphia hasn’t been fining Simmons, since he has been participating in training sessions and team meetings and continues to meet with mental health specialists, per Charania.
- The Celtics have continued to convey to rival teams that they want to build around Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown rather than trading one of them, sources tell Charania.
- The Pacers are having trade discussions about Myles Turner and Caris LeVert, with Turner drawing interest from the Mavericks, Knicks, Lakers, and Hornets, while the Cavaliers remain interested in LeVert, according to Charania. Rival executives tell The Athletic that Indiana values Domantas Sabonis very highly and seems less likely to move him.
- Teams would be interested in Rockets guard John Wall if he reaches the open market, but a trade remains very unlikely and Houston still doesn’t appear to have interest in a buyout, Charania writes.
- As the Cavaliers consider possible backcourt upgrades, building a deal around Ricky Rubio‘s expiring contract and draft assets is a possibility, says Charania.