John Collins

Moore’s Latest: Hawks, Bogdanovic, LeVert, Celtics, Robinson

The Hawks are a good bet to make significant changes at the trade deadline, according to Matt Moore of Action Network. Multiple sources tell Moore that the directive from team ownership is to turn the season around following an 18-25 start, so Atlanta won’t just be sellers — they’ll want to acquire players who can help right away.

While the price tag would likely be high, John Collins is someone the Hawks are willing to talk about, according to Moore, who hears from sources that Bogdan Bogdanovic is another veteran the team would discuss.

Here are a few more items of interest from Moore:

  • The Pacers have received multiple offers for Caris LeVert, sources tell Moore. While Moore views LeVert as the Pacer most likely to be traded, he says it wouldn’t be surprising if others, such as Justin Holiday, are on the move, possibly in a larger deal.
  • A pair of rival executives who spoke to Moore were skeptical that the Celtics will do anything too drastic at the trade deadline. “They’re not so off track that they need to just give up and trade Jaylen Brown and blow the whole thing up,” one of the execs said. “They’re where they usually are, with a team good enough to compete but not good enough to scare you. They’ll look for a big upgrade without having to give up anything.”
  • With Max Strus‘ playing time on the rise and Duncan Robinson seeing his role reduced a little as of late, there’s a belief around the league that the Heat would be open to discussing the sharpshooter, says Moore. Robinson, who entered the season with a .423 career 3PT%, has made just 34.8% of his threes in 2021/22.

Latest On Kings’ Pursuit Of Ben Simmons

After Sam Amick of The Athletic reported that Ben Simmons appears to be “front and center” in the Kings‘ trade deadline plans and said the team is open to acquiring Tobias Harris along with Simmons, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer has published a report with more details on Sacramento’s pursuit of the Sixers‘ star.

According to Pompey, sources have repeatedly stated the Sixers aren’t interested in a deal headlined by De’Aaron Fox, who would be one of the Kings’ best trade chips.

One source tells Pompey the Kings have considered offering Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, and two first-round picks in exchange for Simmons, Harris, and Matisse Thybulle. However, that source also said the Sixers aren’t interested in that package; a second source tells Pompey that Philadelphia has yet to receive a formal offer from Sacramento.

Pompey hears from that second source that the Kings and Sixers haven’t discussed Philadelphia’s younger players like Thybulle, whom the source classifies as borderline untouchable. However, sources tell Pompey that Sacramento has done background work on Thybulle, Isaiah Joe, and Paul Reed.

Even if the Kings were willing to put the aforementioned Haliburton/Hield/Barnes offer on the table, they’d need to either reroute Harris to a third team or add at least one more player – such as Tristan Thompson or Marvin Bagley III – to make the deal work financially.

The Kings and Sixers haven’t yet gained any “significant traction” on a deal, Pompey writes.

Here are a few more noteworthy tidbits from Pompey’s report:

  • The Sixers have denied that they’re shopping Harris or want to attach him to a Simmons trade, but multiple teams and sources have told Pompey that’s the case.
  • According to Pompey, before sending Cam Reddish to New York, the Hawks considered offering John Collins, Reddish, and a first-round pick for Simmons, but the Sixers brought Harris’ name into discussions, ending those talks.
  • Pompey confirmed there are league executives who believe the Sixers would be comfortable hanging onto Simmons for the rest of the season. He also confirmed that the three-time All-Star is prepared to sit out the remainder of the season in that scenario.
  • Sources tell Pompey that the 76ers are continuing to fine Simmons for the games he misses, but not for more minor infractions.

Trade Rumors: Simmons, Kings, Blazers, Rockets, THT, Jazz

David Aldridge, John Hollinger, and Sam Amick of The Athletic, participating in a roundtable discussion on Ben Simmons, all say they believe the Sixers are more likely than not to move the three-time All-Star by the February 10 trade deadline. Over the weekend, big man Joel Embiid publicly backed the idea of the team waiting as long as it needs to maximize the return for Simmons, but Amick says people in Simmons’ camp are unconvinced that Embiid is willing to be as patient as he claims.

“Joel is Daryl (Morey), and Daryl is Joel,” one source told The Athletic, suggesting both the Sixers’ star center and president of basketball operations could be posturing to increase the team’s leverage.

Amick, adding some extra details to his previous reporting on Simmons and the Kings, says the Sixers’ point guard appears to be “front and center” in Sacramento’s deadline plans, ahead of Domantas Sabonis.

Amick also reiterates that the Kings appear to be seriously considering the idea of acquiring Tobias Harris along with Simmons, though he suggests that Philadelphia would likely push for more than De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, and Harrison Barnes in exchange for that duo. For what it’s worth, sources tell Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com that the Kings have done due diligence on Simmons, Harris, and Sixers forward Matisse Thybulle.

Unlike Sacramento, the Hawks appear to have “zero interest” in taking on Harris along with Simmons in a John Collins-centric trade, says Amick.

Here are a few more trade rumors from around the league:

  • Although the Trail Blazers may be sellers in the short term, the team would still like to land an impact player to pair with Damian Lillard for when he gets healthy, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic, who hears that Jaylen Brown and Jerami Grant are among the potential targets on Portland’s radar. The Blazers were believed to be interested in Myles Turner, and if they’re focused more on 2022/23 than this season, the Pacers‘ center could still be an option worth pursuing, Amick notes.
  • There’s plenty of chatter around the league about the Rockets being even more willing to make deadline deals than previously believed, per Amick. Houston remains on the lookout for a potential franchise player and is open to “all sorts of possibilities,” one rival executive tells The Athletic.
  • Dan Woike and Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times confirm that the Lakers are shopping Talen Horton-Tucker in trade discussions. Rival teams believe L.A. still values the young guard, but his $9.5MM salary makes him one of the club’s only real trade chips.
  • The Jazz continue to scout the market in search of an upgrade on the wing, particularly on defense, writes Brian Windhorst of ESPN. “They’re seeing if they can find their own Aaron Gordon trade,” one general manager told ESPN, referring to Denver’s acquisition of Gordon last March. “I’m not sure if they’ll find it.” While the Jazz are said to be interested in Jerami Grant, their ability to make a strong offer is limited by the fact that they’ve already traded away two future first-round picks and don’t have the sort of promising young prospects who could headline a package.

Trade Rumors: Finney-Smith, Pacers, Mavs, Grant, Howard, Lillard, Harris

Following up on Michael Scotto’s report that stated teams around the NBA are eyeing Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report says Rick Carlisle was considered Finney-Smith’s “biggest advocate” in Dallas, adding that the Pacers are considered a possible suitor for that reason.

According to veteran reporter Marc Stein, the Mavericks have been trying to get in the mix for Pacers center Myles Turner or Hawks forward John Collins. Dallas may need to part with at least one of Jalen Brunson and Finney-Smith in such a deal — Stein suggests those two 2022 free-agents-to-be have “no shortage of suitors” around the NBA.

However, Stein also points out that in order to make a major move, Dallas may need to find a taker for Tim Hardaway Jr. While Hardaway’s $21MM salary makes him the Mavericks’ most logical salary-matching piece if they make a play for someone like Turner ($18MM) or Collins ($23MM), his production has dipped to 14.5 PPG on .395/.328/.747 shooting through 35 games (30.6 MPG) this season.

Here are a few more trade rumors from around the league:

  • Although Jerami Grant has frequently been cited as a trade candidate in recent weeks, Marc Stein says the Pistons forward isn’t a lock to be on the move. General manager Troy Weaver remains a “staunch backer” of Grant, and there’s a sense he may prefer to hang onto the 27-year-old. However, vice chairman Arn Tellem also has a significant voice in personnel moves, so the decision isn’t just up to Weaver.
  • Jake Fischer adds Dwight Howard to the list of minimum-salary Lakers veterans who are thought to be on the trade block. DeAndre Jordan and Kent Bazemore are also part of that group.
  • The Trail Blazers had zero intention of trading Damian Lillard prior to his abdominal surgery and still has no desire to trade him going forward, sources tell ESPN’s Zach Lowe.
  • Noting that Gary Harris has had a nice bounce-back season for the Magic, Lowe says contending teams have inquired about the veteran wing as a trade candidate or possible buyout signing. A previous report stated Orlando is seeking a first-round pick in exchange for Harris, but I’m not sure that’s realistic, given his $20MM+ expiring contract, unless the Magic take on some unwanted long-term money.

John Collins Discusses Trade Rumors, Frustration With Role

Hawks forward John Collins has been in the news as of late, with Shams Charania of The Athletic reporting on Monday that the big man is dissatisfied with his role in Atlanta, and Charania’s colleague Chris Kirschner adding that Collins has spoken to Nate McMillan about his offensive role but doesn’t feel like his concerns have been addressed. Charania noted within his story that Collins could even become a trade chip if Atlanta makes a serious play for Ben Simmons.

In the wake of those reports, Kirschner caught up with Collins for a more in-depth discussion. During that conversation, the 24-year-old admitted that he has been frustrated this season by both his role on offense and by the Hawks’ struggles. The team is currently 17-22, 12th in the East.

Speaking to Kirschner, Collins pointed out that his usage rate this season is the lowest it’s been since he was a rookie, but explained that he’s not necessarily asking to get the ball more — he wants his role to be more clearly defined by McMillan, who has said he doesn’t really call plays for the big man.

“I’m not sitting here complaining and saying I need more touches of the ball, or I need to score more points or need more shots. I’ve never complained about that,” Collins said. “All I’ve said, specifically, if there’s a way that I feel like is beneficial for everybody — and not just myself — is for us to be used in the correct way. That’s the angle I’m taking. If I’m saying it, it’s for us. I just want to be put in the best position to succeed, and that’s it. I feel like I’ve sacrificed and have continued to sacrifice as much as I can for the team. I just want to make sure that’s clear.”

Collins shared several more candid thoughts with Kirschner in the Q&A, which is worth checking out in full if you’re an Athletic subscriber. Here are a few more highlights:

On whether his frustration with his role is more acute this season because of the Hawks’ losing record:

“Of course. Everything is harder. My lunches and dinners taste worse. Going to sleep is harder. Everything is worse when you lose. When you win, it covers up a lot of s–t. When you lose, it uncovers a lot of s–t. When you lose, you want the situation to be fixed and figure out a way to handle it, but I know a lot of s–t starts to eke out when you lose like we have. That’s the type of s–t that happens when you’re losing. It’s part of the job.”

On why things are more challenging this season for Atlanta:

“Sometimes having success makes things difficult going forward. I think what we’re dealing with now is understanding the pressure of teams coming harder at us than before after seeing us play deep into the playoffs. Everybody is game-planning for us at a higher level, even though we’re in the regular season. Teams aren’t sleeping on us like we traditionally expected, at least for me, since I’ve been a Hawk. It’s a different situation now when teams come in here.

“It’s not saying we’re not ready, but it’s definitely a change of mentality. I think that sort of shocked us in the beginning and didn’t necessarily get us off to the right start. That’s the only issue I can see. It’s hard sometimes when you have success to repeat it. The East got better too.”

On whether he has had second thoughts about his desire to remain with the Hawks long-term:

“No. That’s why it’s frustrating when I’m mentioned in those kinds of (trade rumors). It always makes my fans, teammates and the organization not know where I might stand. I can’t be responsible for how someone feels when they’re processing what they’re reading. What I’m upset about is, sometimes, I can’t control my own narrative. I do my best to do so, but it’s part of the job. In terms of the Hawks and Atlanta, I don’t need to talk about it because I’ve talked about it enough. This is where I want to be.”

Southeast Notes: Collins, Reddish, Hachimura, Hornets

According to a Shams Charania report, Hawks big man John Collins has grown increasingly frustrated with his role. The Athletic’s Chris Kirschner provides more detail on Collins’ beefs.

Collins has spoken to head coach Nate McMillan about an increased offensive role but those concerns haven’t been properly addressed. The 24-year-old has also challenged his teammates to be more focused on the defensive end, but it hasn’t worked.

“I’ve banged my head on the wall a couple of times trying to figure it out myself,” Collins said of the defense. “There’s really no excuse. … All I can say is it’s unacceptable and we have to dig down and do the things necessary to win or this is going to be the result every night.”

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Cam Reddish has been a prime sources of trade chatter, but The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor argues the Hawks should hold onto the 22-year-old forward. In O’Connor’s view, the Hawks would be better off trading Kevin Huerter or Bogdan Bogdanovic since they have similar skills, while Reddish provides more defensively and has a higher ceiling offensively.
  • Rui Hachimura has finally returned to action after an extended personal absence. The Wizards forward wouldn’t go into detail about his absence but said he’s happy to be back in uniform, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. “I’ve been waiting for this moment,” he said. “I had to take a little time off, but I’m so happy to be back on the court and playing with these guys. I missed the feeling,”
  • Milwaukee’s championship should give the Hornets reason for optimism that their small market team can reach the pinnacle, Rod Boone of the Charlotte Observer writes. Charlotte’s ownership must exercise patience in the front office and the coaching staff, as the Bucks did, to allow the team’s young players to blossom while assembling the right pieces around them.

Charania’s Latest: Collins, Simmons, Celtics, Pacers, Wall, Cavs

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.

COVID-19 Updates: Caruso, Hill, Collins, Morris, Rivers, More

One of the few players not affected by a stint in the NBA’s health and safety protocols last month, Bulls guard Alex Caruso has now entered the protocols, tweets K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. Caruso, who has missed Chicago’s last six games due to a sprained foot, appeared to be nearing a return. If he contracted COVID-19, his return will obviously be delayed, but it will give his foot more time to get back to 100%.

Here are more protocol-related updates from across the league:

  • Hawks big man John Collins has exited the COVID-19 protocols and is expected to meet the team in Los Angeles, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. Atlanta faces the Lakers in L.A. on Friday and the Clippers on Saturday. Meanwhile, hardship addition Cameron Oliver has entered the protocols for Atlanta, tweets Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Unless he returned a false positive or inconclusive test result, Oliver almost certainly won’t clear the protocols before his deal expires on Friday night.
  • Bucks guard George Hill is the latest Milwaukee player to enter the health and safety protocols, tweets Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The team now has a league-high six players in the protocols, though Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Jordan Nwora, and Semi Ojeleye are being listed as questionable for Wednesday’s game vs. Toronto, which suggests they’re on the verge of exiting.
  • Nuggets guard Monte Morris confirmed on his Twitter account that he’s out of the health and safety protocols and prepared to return to action. Morris is still listed as questionable for Wednesday’s contest vs. Utah, but it sound like he expects to play.
  • Sixers head coach Doc Rivers is out of the protocols and will resume his duties on Wednesday vs. Orlando, tweets Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • Thunder rookie Jeremiah Robinson-Earl has cleared the protocols and is being listed as available for Wednesday’s game in Minnesota, tweets Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman. Oklahoma City no longer has any players in the protocols.
  • Our health and safety protocols tracker, which is updated multiple times daily, can be found right here.

John Collins, Jalen Johnson Placed In Health And Safety Protocols

Hawks forward John Collins has entered the league’s health and safety protocols, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Rookie Jalen Johnson is in the protocols as well, bringing the team’s total to 10 players (Twitter link).

Collins is among Atlanta’s best players, averaging 17.6 points and 7.9 rebounds in 32 games. He has been helping the Hawks remain competitive after the loss of Trae Young, who is also in the protocols. Johnson has gotten into 10 games during his first season with averages of 2.2 points and 1.3 rebounds in 5.0 minutes per night.

Atlanta’s other players in the protocols are Sharife CooperDanilo GallinariKevin HuerterWesley IwunduTimothe Luwawu-CabarrotOnyeka Okongwu and Lou Williams

The Hawks have signed Iwundu, Malcolm Hill, Lance Stephenson, Cat Barber and Malik Ellison to 10-day deals under the league’s hardship provision.

Southeast Notes: Collins, Johnson, Carter Jr., Dedmon

John Collins re-signed with the Hawks on a five-year, $125MM contract as a restricted free agent during the offseason. So far, it’s working out well for both sides, according to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. Collins is averaging 16.6 PPG, 8.0 RPG and 1.3 BPG.

“He’s had stretches like this all of the time,” Hawks star Trae Young said. “Now he’s being so consistent with it. This is normal for him. He’s playing really well on the offensive end. On the defensive end, he’s just as good if not better. “

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Jalen Johnson‘s only path to playing time with the Hawks this season is more frontcourt injuries, head coach Nate McMillan told Kirschner (Twitter link). The 20th overall pick of this year’s draft, Johnson is playing with the G League’s College Park Skyhawks to develop his game, Sarah Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets. “That’s what it’s for and that’s what we want him to do,” McMillan said.
  • Magic center Wendell Carter Jr. was fined $35K by the league for forcefully throwing his protective glasses at a game official, Hoops Rumors’ JD Shaw tweets. The incident, for which Carter was assessed a technical foul and ejected, occurred in the fourth quarter of the Magic’s loss to Cleveland on Saturday.
  • Heat center Dewayne Dedmon was fined $15K by the league for kicking a seat cushion from his team’s bench into the stands, Shaw adds in another tweet. Dedmon was assessed a technical foul and ejected for his action, which occurred in the fourth quarter of the Heat’s win over Chicago on Saturday.