Multiple reports have suggested the Hawks have been aggressive in seeking trades this offseason, and while they may not be looking to gut the team, they could move a key piece or two.
One of those pieces, per Marc Stein of The Stein Line, is power forward John Collins. Interest in Collins is high, Stein added, and there is a sense the Hawks are only determined to keep Trae Young, De’Andre Hunter and Onyeka Okongwu.
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.”