The Kings are on the lookout for a “win-now” veteran player under new coach Mike Brown, but they may have to get a little more serious if that’s actually the goal.
At least, that is how some see it, as The Athletic reported the Kings’ trade offer for Hawks forward John Collins is being viewed as “underwhelming” by Atlanta.
Word is, the Hawks are open to moving Collins, and perhaps some others. And the Kings are said to be exploring what they can get for the No. 4 overall pick. But so far, it doesn’t seem as if either will be exchanged in a potential Atlanta-Sacramento deal.
Actually, per The Athletic, the No. 4 pick would not be involved, with Kings small forward Harrison Barnes being the player the Hawks would receive in return. But again, the No. 4 pick is supposedly not in play.
“If that were the case, it would likely be done already,” The Athletic wrote.
As we relayed earlier this week via Marc Stein of The Stein Line, a trade of Collins was considered likely ahead of Thursday’s NBA Draft or the start of free agency in July.
Stein reported he is hearing that the Hawks “have to break it up” and “want to do something big” from rival executives.
The Trail Blazers are among the teams linked to Collins, and potential deal involving Portland’s No. 7 overall pick is not out of the question, Stein wrote.
Along with the Blazers, Stein linked the Suns to Collins, given the fact GM James Jones is said to be a fan. Plus, as we’ve relayed, the Suns are more than open to exploring sign-and-trade arrangements centered around Deandre Ayton.
Collins, 24, is 6-foot-9 and 16.2 points and 7.8 rebounds in 52 games this past season. Those averages dipped to 9.4 and 4.6, respectively, in the Hawks’ five playoff games.
Mostly, Atlanta was looking to build off a run to the East finals in 2021. Instead, the Hawks were bounced by the Heat in the first round.
While GM Travis Schlenk has downplayed the idea that the Hawks are looking for a major shakeup, he did admit that they are always looking for ways to improve.
“It’s a lot easier to become a good team, a playoff team, than it is to become one that contends for a title,” Schlenk said, via Jeff Schultz of The Athletic. “We feel we’ve become a competitive team, but now we have to take the next step, and these are difficult decisions.
“If you make a mistake in the draft, you can overcome that. It’s a two-year mistake. If you make a mistake in free agency or in a sign-and-trade, when you’re giving somebody a four-year, $150 million contract, that can be detrimental for a long time.”