With gay at the tail end of his career, this is clearly a move designed for the Hawks to rid themselves of Collins’ salary, as he has three years and $78 million remaining. As Wojnarowski noted, the Hawks now enter the free agency period with the flexibility to add to the roster.
Collins, 25, averaged 13.1 points and 6.5 rebounds in 71 games this past season, shooting 51 percent from the field. He had been linked to the Jazz since the start of last season — and now Utah will be adding him to a frontline that consists of forward Lauri Markkanen and All-Rookie center Walker Kessler.
Gay, 36, exercised the $6.4 million option on his contract, clearing the way for the deal, agent Sam Permut told Wojnarowski. He averaged 5.2 points and 2.9 rebounds in 56 appearances last season.
Hoops Wire will have more on this trade as the news becomes available. It cannot be official until July 6.
ESPN Sources: The Hawks are finalizing a trade to send F/C John Collins to the Jazz for Rudy Gay and a future second-round pick. Atlanta’s largely unloading Collins’ three years, $78M for some roster building flexibility and alignment with looming changes to salary cap. pic.twitter.com/CpAfTNXKMq
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 26, 2023