Three years after being selected as the No. 19 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Atlanta Hawks power forward John Collins has managed to turn himself into one of the most promising big men in the league. This season, Collins continued his impressive performance on both ends of the floor, averaging 21.6 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks, while shooting 58.3 percent from the field and 40.1 percent from beyond the arc.
Though the Hawks haven’t shown any indication that they are planning to make him available on the trade market, teams who are eyeing to boost their frontcourt are still expected to inquire about Collins’ availability in the offseason.
One of the potential suitors for Collins this summer are the Washington Wizards. According to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, the Wizards may consider trading for Collins if they acquire the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. In the proposed trade deal, the Wizards would be sending a trade package that includes Rui Hachimura and the No. 1 pick to the Hawks in exchange for Collins.
If the Wizards win the lottery, most people would agree that they are better off focusing on the development of their young players. However, despite missing the Eastern Conference Playoffs last season, the Wizards have been telling everyone in the league that they have no intention of undergoing a full-scale rebuild.
Instead of tearing their roster down, the Wizards remain optimistic that they could build a title-contending team around their explosive backcourt duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal.
By trading Hachimura and the No. 1 pick to the Hawks for Collins, Buckley believes that the Wizards could acquire the “difference-maker” that they need to make an impact in the Eastern Conference next season.
“Collins fits the bill, and if Washington ponies up whatever is needed for his extension, it could control his entire prime. He could turn heads as a third wheel, and his screen plays with Beal and Wall would be a nightmare to cover, especially when defenses must also account for Bertans’ sniping.”
Though he’s still young and has no playoff experience, Collins would undeniably be an incredible addition to the Wizards, giving them a dominant big man who is capable of knocking down shots from beyond the arc. Having a floor-spacing big man would be beneficial for Wall and Beal, as it would make it easier for them to penetrate the basket or kick the ball out when they are trapped by the opposing team’s defense.
If Collins immediately builds chemistry with Wall and Beal, a formidable “Big Three” could rise in Washington next season, if the trade were to happen.