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Atlanta Hawks looking to trade John Collins for lottery pick: 3 ideal scenarios

Vincent Frank

Atlanta Hawks big man John Collins has been the subject of trade rumors over the past couple years. Even after re-signing on a five-year, $125 million contract last July, these trade rumors won’t die down.

With Atlanta coming off a disappointing first-round exit in the 2022 NBA Playoffs, general manager Travis Schlenk is now reportedly looking to include Collins in a trade for a lottery pick in next week’s NBA Draft.

“League sources say the Hawks are looking to add a lottery pick either by outright trading John Collins or also including this selection (16th pick).”

Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer

There are multiple teams looking to trade out of the top 10 in order to find proven talent. Collins would obviously fit into that category. As O’Connor noted, that list includes the Portland Trail Blazers. They are slated to select seventh overall.

As for the Atlanta Hawks, Schlenk stated after their first-round exit at the hands of the Miami Heat that the team will be looking to make changes behind Trae Young on the roster.

“We made the decision last year to run the same group back. We probably should’ve tried to upgrade as opposed to stay status quo. The way the season played out, we’re certainly going to try to upgrade the roster moving forward into next season.”

Atlanta Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk on offseason plans

The 24-year-old Collins is probably Atlanta’s best trade asset to add a lottery pick to the mix. Below, we look at three scenarios.

Related: NBA Draft trades we could see next week

Atlanta Hawks trade John Collins to the Portland Trail Blazers

atlanta hawks trade john collins to the portland trail blazers
Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
  • Atlanta Hawks get: Eric Bledsoe, Justise Winslow, 7th pick
  • Portland Trail Blazers get: John Collins, 44th pick

It’s no secret that recently-promoted general manager Joe Cronin is looking to make a win-now move in Portland. The Blazers are coming off their worst season since 2005-06 and need to add more talent for franchise stalwart Damian Lillard. Collins would provide that while balancing out the roster in a big way.

  • John Collins stats (2019-22): 18.2 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 56% shooting, 39% 3-point

Collins teaming up with Lillard and breakout wing Anfernee Simons would definitely be a good start in th Pacific Northwest. The Blazers also have the financial capability to pull off a trade of this ilk by picking up the $19.38 million option on Bledsoe’s contract for the 2022-23 season.

As for Atlanta, the team adds a valuable top-seven pick to the mix. It could go in a number of different directions with said pick, including someone like former Kentucky top recruit Shaedon Sharpe to team up with Young in the backcourt. A high-upside Dyson Daniels could also end up being a sexy pick. Obviously looking to win short-term, Atlanta also finds a back up for Young in Bledsoe as well as a solid three-and-D wing with Winslow.

Related: Sacramento Kings draft and ideal scenarios

Atlanta Hawks trade John Collins to the Sacramento Kings

atlanta hawks trade john collins to the sacramento kings
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
  • Atlanta Hawks get: Harrison Barnes, Justin Holiday, 4th pick
  • Sacramento Kings get: John Collins, Jalen Johnson, 16th pick, future 1st-round pick

Another team that’s looking to make a win-now move ahead of the draft, Sacramento has the best asset of the bunch. That includes the fourth overall selection, which could be used to find a running mate for All-Star Domantas Sabonis in the frontcourt.

Already boasting a solid backcourt tandem in De’Aaron Fox and Davion Mitchell, a move of this ilk would help balance out the Kings’ roster. They also pick up 2021 first-round pick Jalen Johnson and another first-round selection by moving off Barnes and trading down a dozen spots. Not too bad.

Atlanta’s target here would likely be Purdue guard Jaden Ivey or former Duke star forward Paolo Banchero. The cost would be high to acquire another potential star with Young. But it’s definitely worth it given the Hawks’ thought process.

  • John Collins contract: 5 years, $125 million; player option for 2025-26

Financially, the Hawks move off Collins’ long-term deal while adding Barnes expiring contract. It’s also not like Barnes is a terrible player. He’s among the most-underrated wings in the game. A trade of this ilk would enable Atlanta to pull off a separate deal sending either Danilo Gallinari or Bogdan Bogdanovic to another team.

Related: Updated 2022 NBA mock draft

Atlanta Hawks trade John Collins to the Charlotte Hornets

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Atlanta Hawks
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
  • Atlanta Hawks get: Mason Plumlee, Kelly Oubre Jr., P.J. Washington, 13th pick
  • Charlotte Hornets get: John Collins, 44th pick

Now, this might be a high price for the Hornets to pay. With that said, they simply don’t have a balanced roster at this point. Perimeter options such as LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier and Miles Bridges have dominated the landscape.

Coming off a loss to these very same Hawks in the play-in tournament, big changes are needed behind those three. And with the Hornets likely being forced to sign Bridges to a max deal on the restricted free agent market, moving off Washington would make a ton of sense.

Simply put, Charlotte would be a much better team with a core four of Ball, Rozier, Bridges and Collins. It would also still have the 15th pick to add another youngster to the mix.

Atlanta picks up the 13th selection to go with its original 16th pick. Those two could be packaged with either Gallinari or Bogdanovic to move well into the top 10. Meanwhile, the Hawks pick up three rotational pieces to help create more depth. The centerpiece here is the aforementioned Washington, who could take over for Collins at the four. This is a win-win for the two Eastern Conference rivals.