The Hawks are exploring potential trades involving forward John Collins, who may be the most consistent name on the rumor mill since the start of the season.
One team they’ve engaged with recently? The Rockets, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic.
Collins, of course, has also been linked to the Jazz, Mavericks, Nets and Wizards. While he’s the hottest name on the market, he very well could remain with the Hawks, too.
Per Iko, there has been “nothing concrete” on the Rockets’ talks with the Hawks, “merely ideas floated by the Hawks to Houston among other teams — but the interest is real.”
Collins, 25, is 6-foot-9 and has spent his entire six-year career with the Hawks. He’s been in trade rumors since at least the start of the season, and perhaps even midway through last.
Through 41 games (all starts), he is averaging 13.4 points and 7.8 rebounds, his lowest averages since his rookie season of 2017-18. He is also shooting career-lows of 51 percent and 26 percent on 3-pointers.
Many across the league seem to think Collins will be more impactful once the deadline passes and he can focus on basketball, without the weight of potentially being traded on his mind. Others think he is indeed in need of a new location.
Meanwhile, the Rockets are fairly well-stacked at the forward position, with the likes of rookies Jabari Smith and Tari Eason, as well as KJ Martin and Jae’Sean Tate. They reportedly are taking lots of calls about guard Eric Gordon.
The Hawks are said to be looking for a veteran player who can help enhance their playoff hopes in exchange for Collins. They are two seasons removed from a run to the Eastern Conference finals, though have been hovering around the eighth seed for the majority of this year.
The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 9.