Despite standing out as one of the Atlanta Hawks' top players at just 23 years old, John Collins has recently been surrounded by myriad trade rumors. Quite notably, the team failed to come to terms with the big man on a contract extension, and as a new report suggests, it seems that the Hawks don't have him in their long-term plans.
On Tuesday, Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer explained the Hawks' situation at the moment, where the organization is in "playoffs-or-bust" mode after signing free agents Danilo Gallinari, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Rajon Rondo, and Kris Dunn in the 2020 offseason. While Collins and point guard Trae Young are still in place as part of Atlanta's young core, recent reports have mentioned the forward/center among the players who might be shipped to another team on or before the March 25 trade deadline.
As quoted by Fischer, an unnamed front office executive insinuated that the Hawks are "not in love" with Collins, hence the fact he has yet to sign an extension with the club.
"There's a sentiment among league personnel that Atlanta didn't seriously engage Collins' representatives this offseason. These conversations are never linear; they always involve a back-and-forth between agents and teams. But this particular discussion never made much advancement," the Bleacher Report writer continued, citing league sources.
As further noted, Collins and his representatives were hoping for a five-year deal, only for the Hawks to offer multiple three-year agreements. The former Wake Forest star was also said to have "never seriously entertained" Atlanta's purported offer of a four-year contract worth more than $90 million.
There are also a few additional concerns that might have played a part in the stalemate between Collins and the Hawks. As noted, it appears that his status as a four-five tweener has made it hard for team officials to decide on whether he is worth re-signing. His previous altercation with Young was also mentioned as another reason behind this uncertainty, though his subpar defense was singled out as a "far more real" concern for the Hawks and other teams that might be interested in acquiring him before the deadline.
According to his Basketball-Reference page, Collins is currently producing 18.1 points, 7.6 rebounds, and one block per game — all of which represent a decline from his 2019-20 numbers. He is, however, one of the rare big men with shooting clips over 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range, much as he was in the previous campaign. With those statistics in mind, Fischer described him as someone who could turn out to be a "new-age Amar'e Stoudemire" with better outside shooting.