John Collins

Northwest Notes: Collins, Jazz, Thunder, Timberwolves

Nekias Duncan of Basketball News unpacks Utah’s reported interest in Hawks big man John Collins. Duncan acknowledges that a trade seems unlikely, but believes Collins’ screen-and-roll game would work well in the Jazz‘s offensive system.

While Collins is an upgrade over Kelly Olynyk defensively, Duncan doesn’t view him as a difference-maker on that end, so he probably wouldn’t help improve the team’s defense, which currently ranks 21st in the NBA. Ultimately, Duncan thinks Olynyk would be the primary piece heading back to Atlanta if a deal is completed.

Here’s more from the Northwest:

  • The Jazz‘s players are enjoying being one of the NBA’s biggest overachievers so far this season, writes Tania Ganguli of The New York Times. “Every game people are surprised that we win,” Lauri Markkanen said. “We got a great coaching staff, we got great players on this team, so we can beat anybody when we play our best basketball. We try and have that underdog mentality going into games. People really are not expecting a lot from us. Use that to fuel us — not that you really need that; we obviously go out there and compete every night. Just if we ever need some extra motivation, I guess.” After dropping two straight games, the Jazz currently sit with a 12-8 record, the No. 4 seed in the West.
  • External expectations for the Thunder were low entering 2022/23, particularly after No. 2 overall pick Chet Holmgren was ruled out for the season with a foot injury over the summer. However, ESPN’s Bobby Marks says Oklahoma City appears to be “on the right path” with the league’s youngest roster, which is led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who is averaging 31.1 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 6.3 APG and 1.8 SPG on .519/.380/.917 shooting through 17 games (36.1 MPG). The Thunder are only 7-11, but they’ve been competitive and the players seem to trust each other, Marks notes.
  • The new-look Timberwolves had their best performance of the season Wednesday at Indiana, defeating a Pacers team that had won five consecutive games heading into the contest, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. “Very, very pleasing,” head coach Chris Finch said. “Hopefully it’s one more step, many more to go, but one more step in the right direction.” The Wolves have now won five straight and hold a 10-8 record.

Multi-Team Deal Possible For Jae Crowder

Several teams have expressed interest in Suns forward Jae Crowder and there’s speculation that a trade could get done soon, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. Crowder, who had been a starter during his first two years in Phoenix, is working out on his own while he waits for a deal to be completed.

The Bucks, Hawks and Warriors are among the most prominent suitors for Crowder, sources tell Pincus, and an unidentified executive believes the final version of the deal could include as many as five teams.

Pincus hears that Milwaukee has offered Grayson Allen for Crowder, while Atlanta is willing to part with some combination of Bogdan Bogdanovic, Justin Holiday and John Collins. The Suns don’t have any immediate interest in either of those offers, Pincus adds.

As reported earlier today by Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the Rockets could play an important role in a multi-team deal. Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports stated last week that Phoenix had interest in Kenyon Martin Jr., and Pincus speculates that veteran guard Eric Gordon could also be included in a trade that sends Crowder and Dario Saric to another team. Pincus hears that Houston would want “real value” to get involved, whether it’s in the form of young talent or draft assets.

The Warriors could be a team to watch in the Crowder sweepstakes if they’ve become more willing to unload some of their young players after an 8-10 start, Pincus writes. Golden State’s defense has regressed after losing Gary Payton II and Otto Porter in free agency, and Crowder is the type of multi-positional defender who could fix those issues.

The Warriors also need help with rebounding after falling from seventh to 25th in the league in that category, and rival executives expect them to target another big man as well as a defensive wing. Pincus cites Myles Turner and Jakob Poeltl as possibilities, though the Pacers may decide to keep Turner after their strong start. The Spurs are limited to less than $13MM as the starting point for an extension offer to Poeltl, and the team may be inclined to trade him rather than risk losing him in free agency.

Golden State would have to send out nearly $16MM in salary to acquire both Crowder and Poeltl, but it’s limited in what it can offer until Donte DiVincenzo, JaMychal Green, Andre Iguodala and Kevon Looney become trade-eligible later this season.

Pincus offers a sample trade in which send the Warriors send James Wiseman and Ryan Rollins to the Spurs, while the Rockets get Jonathan Kuminga from Golden State and Saric from Phoenix. Another Pincus suggestion has the Warriors keeping Kuminga while shipping Moses Moody and either Patrick Baldwin or Rollins to the Rockets, while San Antonio gets Baldwin or Rollins along with Wiseman.

Fischer’s Latest: Bey, Suns, K. Martin, Collins, J. Holiday

Team personnel around the NBA are keeping an eye on Pistons forward Saddiq Bey, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, who says Detroit has received some calls from clubs inquiring about the third-year pro.

Bey has been considered part of the Pistons’ core since being selected 19th overall in the 2020 draft. However, his production has dipped so far this season and he was recently moved to a reserve role for one game before an Isaiah Stewart injury reopened a spot for him in the starting five. That brief demotion represented the first time Bey had come off the bench since the first half of his rookie season.

Still, while the Pistons may be more amenable to listening to inquiries on Bey than they have been in the past, Fischer says the team still seems intent on further evaluating the former first-round pick before seriously considering the idea of making him available.

Here are a few more notes from Fischer’s latest rumor round-up, which also included items on the Jazz and Clippers:

  • The Suns‘ interest in Rockets forward Kenyon Martin Jr., first reported by Shams Charania last week, has resulted in Houston getting involved in some three-team Jae Crowder trade discussions, Fischer reports. Sources also confirm to Yahoo Sports that the Bucks have tried to use Grayson Allen to acquire Crowder, but Phoenix and Milwaukee have yet to find common ground on a straight-up deal.
  • There was “true momentum” toward a trade this past offseason that would have sent Hawks big man John Collins to the Kings, and the Wizards showed real interest in Collins prior to last season’s trade deadline, writes Fischer. However, Sacramento was happy to make a deal with Atlanta for Kevin Huerter instead, while Washington ended up landing Kristaps Porzingis to fortify its frontcourt. Fischer doesn’t say it outright, but the implication is that neither team is still pursuing Collins at this time.
  • Fischer echoes a John Gambadoro report stating that the Suns aren’t interested in acquiring Collins, largely due to the long-term money still left on his contract (he’s in the second season of a five-year, $125MM deal). And Phoenix may not be the only team that feels that way — Collins’ contract could complicate the Hawks‘ efforts to find a trade partner, according to Fischer, who suggests that the deal is “perceived to be above market value.”
  • Hawks wing Justin Holiday is worth monitoring as a possible trade candidate, per Fischer, especially if AJ Griffin continues to solidify a role in Atlanta’s regular rotation.

Jazz Rumors: Conley, Markkanen, Vanderbilt, Beasley, Collins, More

The severity of Mike Conley‘s knee injury could have an impact on which direction the Jazz go in their various trade talks, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, who notes that a significant drop-off in Utah’s play with Conley unavailable may make the team more inclined to sell — especially if the veteran point guard ends up sidelined for multiple weeks, as was originally rumored.

For the time being, Fischer says, the Jazz appear intent on keeping forward Lauri Markkanen, who is enjoying a breakout season, and guard Jordan Clarkson, who is believed to be a better candidate for an extension than a trade. The club has also established a “high” asking price for forward Jarred Vanderbilt, Fischer adds.

That would leave Conley, swingman Malik Beasley, and center Kelly Olynyk as the most likely veteran trade candidates in Utah, according to Fischer, though he acknowledges that Olynyk is a favorite of Jazz CEO Danny Ainge.

Here’s more on the Jazz from Fischer:

  • League sources tell Yahoo Sports that Utah’s interest in Hawks big man John Collins is legitimate. However, Atlanta didn’t gain any traction after inquiring about a Markkanen/Collins swap, and it seems unlikely that Collins will end up with the Jazz, Fischer writes.
  • While Conley’s $22.68MM cap hit would be the best straight-up match for Collins’ $23.5MM figure, Fischer doesn’t expect the Hawks to have much interest in Conley, given that they already have two star point guards in Trae Young and Dejounte Murray. Beasley would be a more logical candidate to be included in any Jazz deal for Collins, per Fischer.
  • Sources tell Fischer that the Jazz have been looking to move Rudy Gay, who is averaging career worsts so far this season in points per game (4.5), minutes per game (15.8), and field goal percentage (36.2%), among many other categories. Gay is earning $6.18MM in 2022/23 and is considered highly likely to pick up his $6.48MM player option for ’23/24, so he’ll have negative trade value.

Trade Rumors: Collins, Jazz, Clarkson, Fournier, Robinson, More

Many around the NBA thought it was a foregone conclusion that John Collins would be moved ahead of the draft this past summer, and Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack article that the Hawks power forward was “very nearly” dealt to the Kings in June.

Sources tell Stein that there’s “momentum building on all sides” for Collins to be traded during the 2022/23 season, so his name should be “right at the top of the list” of players most likely to be dealt before the February 9 deadline.

Stein confirms that the Jazz have shown interest in Collins, and that’s a noteworthy pivot for a team that many believed would be tanking and a frontrunner for a top lottery pick after dealing away Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell and other veterans.

Speaking of Utah, a rival executive tells Stein that he thinks the Jazz are more likely to extend Jordan Clarkson‘s contract than trade him. Michael Scotto of HoopsHype hears similarly, saying there’s “palpable buzz” about a potential Clarkson extension.

Here are a few more trade rumors from Scotto, who takes a look at the top trade candidates for each NBA team:

  • The Knicks are reluctant to part with a first-round pick to move off Evan Fournier‘s contract, sources tell Scotto. Fournier has fallen out of New York’s rotation after a prolonged shooting slump and is owed $18MM this season and $18.9MM in 2023/24. In addition to Derrick Rose and Immanuel Quickley, rival executives also believe that second-year guard Miles McBride is available due to the team’s backcourt logjam, per Scotto.
  • The Heat have made Duncan Robinson available in trade talks, sources tell Scotto. That’s hardly surprising since Robinson, like Fournier, has struggled and fallen out of the rotation at times in ’22/23. The problem is Miami would almost certainly have to attach assets to deal Robinson, who is owed $57.5MM over the next three seasons, and it remains to be seen whether the Heat are willing to do so.
  • Echoing a previous report, Scotto writes that the Lakers were trying to offload Russell Westbrook to the Spurs for Doug McDermott and Josh Richardson before the season started. While LJ Ellis of SpursTalk.com stated that the Lakers were only willing to attach two second-round picks to Westbrook’s enormous expiring contract, Scotto hears the Lakers offered a lottery-protected first-rounder and the Spurs wanted that pick to be unprotected, which caused the talks to stall.
  • Center Nerlens Noel is not expected to finish the ’22/23 season with the Pistons, according to Scotto. It’s unclear if Scotto means he’ll be bought out at some point or moved in a trade, since Noel’s $9.2MM contract doesn’t have positive value given how many injuries he’s dealt with the past couple seasons.

Hawks Talking John Collins Trades; Suns, Jazz Interested?

7:00pm: The Jazz have also shown recent interest in Collins, Charania said in an appearance on The Rally (Twitter video link).


3:06pm: John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 disputes Charania’s claim that the Suns are a potential suitor for Collins, tweeting that Phoenix doesn’t have interest in the veteran forward.

Gambadoro adds (via Twitter) that the Suns and Kings had a discussion about Barnes over the summer, but with Sacramento playing well and Mike Brown a fan of the veteran forward, the Kings don’t intend to move Barnes.


10:09am: Hawks big man John Collins, who has been the subject of trade rumors multiple times in recent years, is considered available once again this season, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.

According to Charania, the Hawks have opened “preliminary” trade talks involving Collins, with the Suns among the teams showing interest in the 25-year-old. Sources tell The Athletic that a Collins trade doesn’t appear imminent, and Charania cites executives who believe it could take weeks or months for the Hawks to find a deal they like — if they move him at all.

Collins was considered a trade candidate during the year leading up to his restricted free agency in 2021, but signed a five-year, $125MM contract to remain in Atlanta. That deal did little to quiet the trade rumors surrounding him though — those rumors popped up again at the 2022 trade deadline and during this past offseason, prompting Hawks general manager Landry Fields to tell reporters on Media Day in September that Collins was “still here for a reason.”

In 15 games so far this season, Collins has struggled to produce consistently. His average of 12.6 points per game is his lowest since his rookie year, and his .493 FG% is a career-worst mark, as is his .227 3PT%. Still, given his track record, the power forward should bounce back and will be an intriguing trade target for any team looking to acquire an impact frontcourt player.

As Charania notes, the Hawks have been one of the primary suitors for Suns forward Jae Crowder and have been engaged with Phoenix in trade talks in recent weeks, so it’s plausible the two teams could come together for a bigger deal involving both Crowder and Collins.

In order to match Collins’ salary, Phoenix would have to include at least one more mid-level type contract besides Crowder’s expiring deal. Dario Saric ($9.24MM expiring contract) and Landry Shamet ($9.5MM in 2022/23, plus $21.25MM across two more guaranteed years) would be the top candidates.

However, the Suns may be averse to the idea of taking on Collins’ long-term contract, according to Charania. He’s owed $23.5MM in 2022/23 and nearly $52MM in the following two seasons, with a $26.6MM player option for ’25/26. With the Suns facing a possible ownership change, it’s unclear how comfortable they are adding more big long-term financial commitments to their books.

In addition to Collins, the Suns have expressed interests in forwards such as Harrison Barnes of the Kings, Kyle Kuzma of the Wizards, and Kenyon Martin Jr. of the Rockets, sources tell Charania. Phoenix has also reportedly engaged in Crowder-related trade talks with the Bucks, with one report suggesting Milwaukee is the frontrunner to land the veteran forward.

Southeast Notes: Clifford, Ball, Banchero, Collins

Hornets head coach Steve Clifford believes the team can dispel the notion of being soft once it overcomes injuries, he told Roderick Boone of the Charlotte Observer.

“I think that we are very much viewed as a finesse offensive team and I think there is a lot of toughness here. … When we have everybody healthy we are going to be a team that plays with a lot of physicality,” he said. “I don’t see any reason why we can’t be good at all those energy effort areas. Defensive rebounding, defensive transition, keeping the ball out of the paint, being good at loose balls, being good at screening. I don’t see why we can’t do that. So I think that for me is a real positive.”

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Hornets star LaMelo Ball struggled with his shooting and committed five fouls in his season debut against Miami on Saturday. Still, Ball – who had 15 points, six rebounds and six assists – was just happy to get back in action, according to Boone“I feel straight,” Ball said. “More games, it will get easier. So, I think I’m in a good spot.”
  • The top pick in the draft, the Magic‘s Paolo Banchero, missed his third consecutive game on Monday due to a left ankle sprain, Khobi Price of the Orlando Sentinel tweets. Banchero was off to a sparkling start to his NBA career before suffering the injury. He’s averaging 23.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists.
  • After scoring 20-plus points in his first two games, Hawks forward John Collins has averaged 10.4 points in his last 11. Collins said it’s just a matter of touches, Lauren Williams of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. He has taken 10 or fewer shots in seven of his last nine games. “I definitely feel like I can shoot the damn ball,” Collins said. “But, you know, sometimes it’s just hard to get a rhythm. I feel like my rhythm might be just a little bit off, but I’m respecting the game and trying to continue to stay in the gym and shoot and not really think too much about it.”

Hawks Rumors: Collins, Hunter, Injuries, Murray

The Hawks kicked off the NBA’s Media Day season this morning, with general manager Landry Fields telling reporters that John Collins is “still here for a reason” after a summer of trade speculation, tweets Atlanta reporter Brad Rowland.

Trade talk is nothing new for Collins, who has seemingly been on the block since signing a five-year, $125MM deal last offseason. There were numerous rumors involving Collins leading up to this year’s draft, and he was reportedly part of the package the Hawks offered to Brooklyn in an attempt to acquire Kevin Durant.

Fields said Collins understands the situation and has remained professional (Twitter link). The GM added that Collins has expressed his opinion on the constant trade talks, but he understands what the team is doing (Twitter link).

There’s more from the team’s media session:

  • Fields said negotiations are continuing with De’Andre Hunter and the team hopes to have an rookie scale extension in place before the October 17 deadline, tweets Lauren L. Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. According to head coach Nate McMillan, Hunter has been able to go through normal workouts this summer, which he couldn’t do last offseason because of a medical procedure (Twitter link).
  • Fields also provided health updates on a few players, saying Bogdan Bogdanovic is “not going to be 100% for training camp” after having surgery on his right knee in May (Twitter link). The team is focused on getting Bogdanovic back to full health at some point during the season, Fields added. He also said first-round pick AJ Griffin has been “full go” for a few weeks following a foot injury that prevented him from playing in Summer League (Twitter link), and second-year power forward Jalen Johnson will also be ready for camp after a non-surgical procedure on his left knee (Twitter link).
  • McMillan was in constant contact with Trae Young as the Hawks worked out a trade with the Spurs for Dejounte Murray, Williams tweets. The coach added that Young is looking forward to having a chance to play off the ball this season. Fields admitted having two traditional ball-handlers in the backcourt might be “a little clunky at first,” but he expressed confidence that Young and Murray will figure out their roles (Twitter link).
  • Fields plans to keep the 15th roster spot open due to luxury tax concerns, tweets Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. The Hawks are about $1MM over the tax line, and Fields indicated the team’s performance will determine whether he tries to get back under the threshold. “It’s going to be a day-to-day thing,” he said.

Heat Notes: Morris, PF Options, Herro, Haslem

The departure of Markieff Morris, who agreed to a deal with the Nets on Tuesday, means the Heat‘s revolving door at power forward will continue, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Morris and P.J. Tucker, who were free agent additions last summer, both signed elsewhere during the offseason. Winderman notes that Miami has been through eight power forwards since Bam Adebayo became the starting center in 2019/20.

Morris’ departure was virtually assured when Udonis Haslem announced last week that he was returning for a 20th season, Winderman adds. Miami will keep one roster spot open due to luxury tax concerns, so there was no room for Morris once fellow free agents Caleb Martin, Victor Oladipo and Dewayne Dedmon all reached new deals.

Martin, who is expected to replace Tucker as the starting power forward, re-signed with Miami for its full taxpayer mid-level exception and will receive $20.4MM over the next three years. He was reportedly about to get a better offer from a rival team, but he preferred to remain with the Heat. Winderman points out that if Tucker had taken the MLE, Miami’s starting point on a new deal with Martin would have been limited to the $4.1MM bi-annual exception.

There’s more on the Heat:

  • Utah’s Bojan Bogdanovic and Atlanta’s John Collins are players to watch if the Heat decide to trade for a power forward, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. The Jazz haven’t expressed a desire to part with Bogdanovic, but he has a $19.5MM expiring contract and could become expendable if Utah commits to rebuilding. The Hawks have explored the trade market for Collins, but he has an expensive contract that pays him more than $75MM over the next three seasons, along with a $26.6MM player option for 2025/26. Jackson doesn’t believe Miami should give up a first-round pick for either player.
  • The Knicks’ extension agreement with RJ Barrett is likely to be similar to what the Heat offer Tyler Herro if he’s not traded, Winderman adds in a separate piece. Herro is eligible for a five-year max extension worth up to $188MM, but Winderman expects his final deal to be more in line with Barrett, whose four-year deal can be worth up to $120MM if he earns several bonuses.
  • Suns star Chris Paul supports Haslem’s decision to play another season, per Joseph Zucker of Bleacher Report. “You all saw that stuff with Udonis Haslem? Y’all heard everyone talking crazy about him like, ‘Why he on the team? Why he on the team?’ Man, I’m probably his biggest fan,” Paul said to a group of high school players in Los Angeles (video link). “You want to know why? Because young guys need vets. They need somebody like UD showing up every day, if practice at 11:00, he’s probably at the gym at 8:30 every day. To motivate guys. To push guys.”

Nets Notes: Durant, Collins, Outlook, Nash

A number of rival NBA executives subscribe to the theory that the Rudy Gobert trade made it more difficult for the Nets to move Kevin Durant, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. As Scotto explains, there was a sense that if the Nets couldn’t get more in exchange for Durant than the Jazz got for Gobert, Brooklyn’s front office would’ve looked “foolish.”

[RELATED: Kevin Durant, Nets Agree To “Move Forward” With Partnership]

Within his story on the Nets and Durant, Scotto also reports that multiple members of Brooklyn’s front office are fans of Hawks big man John Collins. A report earlier this week stated that Atlanta offered Collins, De’Andre Hunter, and a draft pick in exchange for Durant. However, Collins wasn’t viewed as the sort of star who could headline a KD package, Scotto says.

Here’s more on the Nets in the wake of this week’s Durant-related developments:

  • Multiple general managers who spoke to Scotto predicted that the Nets will be a top-four team in the East this season, though one acknowledged that there’s a wide range of conceivable outcomes for the club. “There’s a very predictable unpredictability, a predictable chaos, a predictable waffling,” the GM said. “What really would surprise you at this point?”
  • While Brooklyn’s high asking price was one major reason why Durant is still a Net, one league executive who spoke to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today suggested that suitors may have been turned off by the aggressive way the star forward pushed for a trade. “Teams don’t want to overpay for someone who has proven he will burn your house down,” the exec said.
  • During a segment on ESPN’s Get Up (video link), Brian Windhorst referred to the truce between Durant and the Nets as a “tentative” one, while Adrian Wojnarowksi said that things will “continue to be fragile” in Brooklyn going forward. Sam Amick of The Athletic agrees that it would be naive to consider the Durant saga over, given that “this kind of discontent doesn’t just disappear overnight.”
  • Brian Lewis of The New York Post and Alex Schiffer of The Athletic each list five questions facing the Nets now that they’ve decided to hang onto Durant.
  • Within his story at The Athletic, Schiffer says that a possible new look in 2022/23 from head coach Steve Nash – who has several new assistants on his staff – has been a “selling point” in Brooklyn during free agency. Schiffer suggests that the Nets have the personnel necessary to run a faster-paced offense this season after leaning on an isolation-heavy system during Nash’s first couple years in Brooklyn.