John Collins

Hawks Notes: Reddish, Collins, Huerter, Hunter

The Hawks have enough young players and future draft picks to facilitate a Ben Simmons trade, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic writes in a mailbag column. He uses the Timberwolves as an example of a team that wants Simmons, but may not have the assets to make an offer that would interest the Sixers. Kirschner suggests Cam Reddish could be appealing in that scenario, with Atlanta getting something of value for helping the deal get done.

The Hawks looked into trading Reddish around draft time, but sources tell Kirschner that no deal was ever imminent. There’s a decent chance Reddish will be eventually be moved, Kirschner adds, but there’s no urgency to deal him right away. Injuries limited Reddish to 26 games last season, but he averaged 12.8 PPG when he returned for the playoff series with the Bucks.

There’s more on the Hawks, all from Kirschner:

  • Atlanta didn’t receive any legitimate sign-and-trade offers for John Collins before re-signing him for five years at $125MM. Kirschner suggests that the Hawks may have been bidding against themselves by giving Collins that much, but they’re still happy to keep an important part of their starting lineup.
  • The Hawks are talking to Kevin Huerter about an extension, but Kirschner doesn’t expect anything to be resolved until closer to the start of the season. He believes it’s likely that the team will decide to let Huerter become a restricted free agent, just like it did with Collins, and hope to work out a new contract next summer.
  • Reddish and De’Andre Hunter will both be eligible for rookie scale extensions next offseason, which will affect the Hawks’ other financial decisions. Kirschner sees Hunter as an ideal backcourt partner for Trae Young, if he can recover from his second meniscus surgery, so he figures to be the Hawks’ priority. Danilo Gallinari only has a $5MM guarantee for 2022/23 in the final year of his contract, so Kirschner expects him to be on the trade market at some point.

Hawks Re-Sign John Collins To Five-Year Deal

AUGUST 6: Collins has officially re-signed with the Hawks, the team confirmed today in a press release.

“We have a great appreciation for John and all he provides for our team; he is an incredible team player who brings the type of positive energy and passion that is contagious and impacts winning,” president of basketball operations Travis Schlenk said in a statement. “John is beloved by his teammates, our coaches and our fans and we are happy that he will continue to grow along with our young core.”

Atlanta has now officially locked up its two franchise cornerstones to long-term deals, having also announced Young’s extension on Friday.

AUGUST 4: The Hawks have reached an agreement on a five-year, $125MM deal with restricted free agent John Collins, agents Sean Kennedy and Jeff Schwartz tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). The agreement features a fifth-year player option, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Collins, the No. 2 player on our list of this year’s top 50 free agents, has now secured the largest free agent contract of the offseason so far in terms of overall value. Chris Paul (four years, $120MM) and Jarrett Allen (five years, $100MM) are the only other players to crack the nine-figure mark to date, and Paul’s deal reportedly only includes about $75MM in fully guaranteed money.

As I noted on Tuesday when word broke that the Hawks had offered Collins $125MM over five years, the deal represents an increase in terms of both years and dollars on the extension the team reportedly offered the 23-year-old during the 2020 offseason (four years, $90MM+).

It’s still quite a bit shy of the maximum salary Atlanta could have offered ($163MM over five years), but Collins’ options were limited, given the lack of teams with cap room available. The inclusion of a fifth-year player option may also have helped convince him to accept the deal. That will give him the ability to opt out in 2025 at age 27.

Collins, the 19th overall pick in the 2017 draft, averaged 17.6 PPG, 7.4 RPG and 1.0 BPG on .556/.399/.833 shooting in 63 games (29.3 MPG) for Atlanta in 2020/21. While those numbers were a slight step below the ones he put up in ’19/20, Collins played the role the Hawks asked of him and was a major part of the team’s run to the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Hawks have now made two major commitments this week to lock up a pair of franchise cornerstones. In addition to reaching a deal with Collins, the club also agreed to terms on a five-year, maximum-salary extension for Trae Young, which will go into effect in 2022/23.

Hawks Have Reportedly Offered John Collins Five Years, $125MM

The Hawks have made an offer worth $125MM over five years to restricted free agent big man John Collins, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic. That offer has yet to be accepted, Amick adds.

When Collins and the Hawks discussed a contract extension last offseason, Atlanta reportedly made an offer worth about $90MM+ over four years, so this offer represents a bump in terms of both years and dollars. However, it’s still considerably less than the maximum the Hawks could put on the table.

As we outlined earlier today, the maximum 2021/22 salary for a player with fewer than six years of NBA experience – like Collins – who has full Bird rights is $163MM over five years or about $126MM over four years.

As Amick writes, Collins made it clear last year that he views himself as a maximum-salary player, and it seems like he and the Hawks once again have a difference of opinion on his value.

While Collins may continue to wait for the Hawks to increase their offer, his leverage is limited. There’s little cap space remaining around the NBA and there has been no indication that any team that still has room – such as the Thunder – is preparing to make a run at the 23-year-old. Additionally, sources tell Amick that Atlanta wants to retain Collins and isn’t interested in exploring sign-and-trade possibilities.

In other words, it still seems likely that the Hawks and Collins will eventually work something out, but it doesn’t appear a deal is imminent.

Hawks, John Collins Not Yet Close To New Deal

As free agency opens, the Hawks and John Collins aren’t close to an agreement on a new contract, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (video link), who reports that there’s no momentum in those talks yet.

Collins is one of the top free agents on the market – he ranked second overall in our top-50 list – but he’s restricted rather than unrestricted, giving the Hawks plenty of leverage in contract negotiations.

While it’s possible another team could swoop in with a big offer sheet for Collins, multiple reports this weekend suggested that his potential suitors were becoming resigned to the idea that he’d likely remain in Atlanta.

That’s still the most probable outcome, even if Collins and the Hawks aren’t ready to come to an agreement right when free agency opens. Collins turned down a four-year, $90MM+ extension offer from Atlanta last offseason and will likely end up reaching a deal worth north of $100MM with the team this week. However, until the two sides reach an agreement, the door is open for something unexpected to happen.

Free Agent Rumors: J. Collins, Lowry, Z. Collins, Forbes, Celtics, More

In his latest rumor-packed article for Bleacher Report, Jake Fischer echoes a Marc Stein report from Friday, writing that John Collins is viewed as increasingly likely to return to the Hawks despite anticipated interest from the Mavericks and Spurs, among others.

Collins’ new deal may exceed $120MM in total value, Fischer notes, though it’s not clear if that’d be for four years or five. Collins’ projected maximum with Atlanta is about $126MM over four years (or $163MM over five), whereas his max with a new team would be approximately $121MM over four years.

Here are a few other rumors on 2021 free agents, including several more updates from Fischer:

  • With the Pelicans, Mavericks, and Heat all expected to make a strong push for Kyle Lowry, the point’s guard ultimate landing spot could come down to which team includes the most guaranteed money in the third year of its offer, says Fischer.
  • The Raptors, Pelicans, Thunder, and Spurs are among the teams known to have interest in big man Zach Collins, sources tell Fischer. Collins isn’t getting a qualifying offer from Portland, so he’ll be an unrestricted free agent.
  • The Nets may be the leading candidates to sign free agent sharpshooter Bryn Forbes, according to Fischer, who also names the Bulls, Cavaliers, Mavericks, and Pelicans as teams to watch.
  • Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald (Twitter link) hears that the Celtics have a list of about seven or eight top free agent targets, including veteran Spurs guard Patty Mills.
  • Otto Porter‘s representatives have been targeting a mid-level type contract for their client, but that’s probably a long shot unless a front office bids against itself, says J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star (Twitter links). The veteran forward is coming off a four-year, $106MM+ deal.
  • The Nuggets are expected to add a backup center in free agency, according to Mike Singer of The Denver Post, who tweets that a new deal with JaVale McGee is one possibility to address that spot.

Stein’s Latest: Simmons, Lowry, Raptors, Rockets, Theis

Earlier today, veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein reported that the Jazz are preparing a contract offer in the three-year, $75MM range for free agent point guard Mike Conley and said teams with interest in Hawks big man John Collins were growing increasingly pessimistic about landing him.

In his full Substack newsletter, Stein reiterates those points, noting that Collins seems intent on re-signing with the Hawks, and shares a handful of other tidbits related to free agency and the trade market. Let’s dive in and round up the highlights…

  • Stein dismisses rumors that the Sixers might be becoming more open to a trade structured around Ben Simmons and Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum, describing that idea as “ill-founded.” If Philadelphia is going to make a deal with Portland, Damian Lillard will be the target, says Stein. The 76ers, who aren’t inclined to do the Blazers any favors in their efforts to convince Lillard to remain in Portland, continue to insist they’re not in a rush to resolve the Simmons situation, Stein adds.
  • Kyle Lowry is the top free agent target for the Heat, Mavericks, and Pelicans, according to Stein, who wonders if the point guard’s close relationship with Jimmy Butler might give Miami a recruiting advantage once free agency begins.
  • Some rival teams believe the Raptors may become more willing to pursue a Pascal Siakam trade after drafting Scottie Barnes fourth overall on Thursday, per Stein.
  • There was “considerable chatter” leading up to the draft that veteran center Daniel Theis will be one of the Rockets‘ top priorities in free agency, says Stein. It’s not clear if Houston’s selection of Alperen Sengun in Thursday’s draft changes the team’s frontcourt plans at all.

Free Agency Rumors: Collins, Cavs, CP3, Clippers

NBA teams interested in signing restricted free agent John Collins are growing “increasingly pessimistic” that they’ll be able to pry away the big man from the Hawks, league sources tell Marc Stein (Twitter link).

The Hawks and Collins couldn’t come to an agreement on an extension during the 2020 offseason, with Atlanta reportedly making a four-year offer in the neighborhood of $90MM, while Collins was believed to be seeking the max. That gap created a sense that the Hawks may be reluctant to match an aggressive offer sheet for Collins this summer, but based on Stein’s report, it sounds like rival suitors are skeptical about Atlanta letting the 23-year-old get away.

Here are a few more free agents from around the league:

  • The Cavaliers had Alex Caruso and T.J. McConnell high on their list of free agent targets, but after agreeing to acquire Ricky Rubio from Minnesota, Cleveland may use its mid-level exception to address a position other than point guard, writes Chris Fedor of
  • Like Suns owner Robert Sarver, general manager James Jones isn’t sure whether or not Chris Paul will pick up his player option to remain in Phoenix. But if Paul opts out, Jones is optimistic the two sides can reach a new deal. “I think what we have is enticing. I think he likes being here. We like having him here,” Jones said, per Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. “So I’m confident that we will be able to have a conversation hopefully in the coming days that will make everyone happy.”
  • Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank said the team wants to bring back Kawhi Leonard, Reggie Jackson, and Nicolas Batum in free agency and hopes that Serge Ibaka opts into the final year of his contract, as Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times relays. Frank also acknowledged that the club expects Leonard to miss time next season due to his ACL sugery. “That’s going to require a great deal of time and we want to support him in that,” Frank said.

Southeast Notes: Collins, Hawks, Magic, Hornets

After Hawks power forward John Collins opted to not accept Atlanta’s four-year, $90MM contract extension offer during the 2020 offseason, opinions were split on what he could fetch in restricted free agency ahead of the 2020/21 season. As an athletic jump-shooting big man who still appears to have room to grow, Collins now appears set to be one of the top available free agents this summer, opines Chris Kirschner of The Athletic.

“The couple of seasons I had before might not have been viewed as winning and empty stats,” Collins told Kirschner. “I don’t know if I wanted to prove to anyone anything other than versatility and playing basketball at a high level. I wanted to show that I could play at a high level and add winning to an organization in more ways than just one. I feel like I’ve proven that. I’m pleased with myself and my ability to help the team win and show my ability to be versatile.”

Kirschner writes that the Hawks should ensure that they re-sign Collins, who proved to be a crucial component of the club that took the eventual-champion Bucks to six games in the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals. Kirschner projects that a four-year, $110MM deal could satisfy both Collins and Atlanta.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • The Hawks have announced some finalized coaching staff hires ahead of the 2021/22 season, according to a team press release. Joe Prunty, most recently an assistant with the Suns, and Jamelle McMillan, most recently an assistant with the Pelicans, are the new additions under head coach Nate McMillan. Prunty and Jamelle McMillan were reported to be possibilities for Atlanta earlier this month.
  • Magic president Jeff Weltman indicated that Orlando has had conversations about trading up or down in the upcoming 2021 draft, per Josh Robbins of The Athletic (Twitter link). “I think trading up is always difficult, and it’s always difficult the higher you’re talking [about] in the draft,” Weltman said. “I can tell you that we’ve had a lot of discussions both ways, up and down. And it’s not easy to get those deals done.” The Magic currently have the Nos. 5 and 8 selections in the first round of Thursday’s draft.
  • Hornets president of basketball operations Mitch Kupchak has suggested that Charlotte will select the best player available with the No. 11 pick in Thursday’s draft, writes Jonathan M. Alexander of the Charlotte Observer. Though upgrading the center position appears to be the team’s most pressing need, the team is open to all possibilities. “We don’t know what the future holds for [free agent centers Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo],” Kupchak said. “Do they want to come back here? I think they do. And then there is a marketplace that has to be considered.” Kupchak conceded that the team could use help at the five spot. “So if you just look at a depth chart, it’s clear to see … there’s a need there.” He cautioned that the draft may not be the route the Hornets ultimately go when it comes to improving at center. “There aren’t too many centers in the draft. We’re not going to hunt a center.”

Free Agency Notes: Portis, Forbes, Cap Room, Dinwiddie

Bucks rotation players Bobby Portis ($3.8MM) and Bryn Forbes ($2.4MM) both have player options for the 2021/22 season, but are expected to turn down them in search of new contracts, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype said on his latest podcast with Yossi Gozlan. Since Milwaukee only has Non-Bird rights on both Portis and Forbes, it’ll be a challenge to bring them back, Gozlan notes.

Scotto and Gozlan discussed a handful of other free agency situations on the HoopsHype Podcast, examining the likelihood of P.J. Tucker returning to the Bucks, exploring whether Kyle Lowry is a realistic target for the Pelicans, and suggesting that the Hornets may be in the market for multiple centers – rather than just one – on the free agent market.

Here are a few more items related to the NBA’s upcoming free agent period:

Hawks Issue Qualifying Offer To John Collins

The Hawks have issued a qualifying offer to big man John Collins, officially making him a restricted free agent, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

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.

[RELATED: Tony Ressler: Hawks Hoping For “Fair Agreement” With John Collins]

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.