We could very well witness the Atlanta Hawks pulling off a blockbuster John Collins trade ahead of the March 25 NBA trade deadline. An impending restricted free agent, the two sides failed to come to an agreement on a long-term extension last offseason
It has now led to Atlanta fielding trade offers for the stud 23-year-old big man. For good reason. Collins is averaging 18.1 points and 7.6 rebounds on 54% shooting from the field. He’s also expanded his range, shooting 41% from distance.
Reports surfaced earlier that the Hawks would like a lottery-level draft pick in return for Collins. However, the combination of a player and a lower pick could get it done. Below, we look at four ideal John Collins trade scenarios.
John Collins trade to the Los Angeles Lakers
We already know Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka is looking to add another star to the mix behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Without draft picks or cap room, Los Angeles will have to get creative. That includes pulling off a trade for a young player with unlimited potential on his rookie deal.
Collins would fit the bill in this regard. The question here is what the Hawks might want from Los Angeles in a hypothetical John Collins trade. It would have to start with promising 20-year-old shooting guard Talen Horton-Tucker. The former second-round pick has shockingly found himself in the Lakers’ rotation. James speaks incredibly high of him.
From there, the Lakers would have to throw in either a second-round pick in 2023 or a first-round pick later. It could work. Atlanta acquires a talented young guard to team up with Trae Young. The Lakers get a power forward, who can slot in next to Anthony Davis. They also have the ability to re-sign him in free agency despite being over the cap and could even end up moving Kyle Kuzma for more pieces next summer.
John Collins trade to the Boston Celtics
Celtics general manager Danny Ainge has made it perfectly clear that he’s willing to make some trades in order to help his team overcome recent struggles. That came to a head this past weekend following losses to the hapless Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards. Ainge is in buying mode. He’s going to be aggressive. With that said, he’s also going to be looking for long-term options.
In acquiring Collins from the Hawks, Boston would be finding a third star behind Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. It also wouldn’t have to use that huge $28.5 million Gordon Hayward trade exception. Collins would be a perfect fit at the four, and a major upgrade.
In return, Atlanta adds promising rookie first-round pick Aaron Nesmith and a future second-round pick. Nesmith was selected 14th overall in 2020. He has tremendous upside and could work well with Young in the Hawks’ backcourt. In lieu of demanding a future lottery pick, the Hawks go with Nesmith. It makes too much sense.
John Collins trade to the Golden State Warriors
Draymond Green is playing some tremendous ball as a small-ball center with James Wiseman currently sidelined. With that said, there’s a chance Golden State opts to move off him this coming summer as a way to get younger at power forward. Previously, former second-round pick Eric Paschall was seen as a tremendous option to replace Green. However, Collins would be an upgrade in that regard.
Golden State would definitely push back against trading the valuable first-round pick it acquired in the D’Angelo Russell-Andrew Wiggins trade with the Timberwolves. However, the team has other assets it could offer up to bring in Collins as a building block next to the impressive Wiggins and Wiseman in the frontcourt. That would include Paschall and a future first-round pick.
From Atlanta’s perspective, a trade of this ilk makes sense. The team would like to get another big man for Collins. Paschall, 24, averaged 14.0 points and 4.6 rebounds as a rookie last season. While his numbers are down in 2020-21, the dude is still a talented young player. Making things more interesting in this hypothetical John Collins trade is the fact that Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk was previously a part of the Warriors’ front office.
John Collins trade to the Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder have accumulated 33 draft picks over the next six years. The plan for general manager Sam Presti is to find a combination of young talent and draft picks to build up this young roster next to stud guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. More proven than any draft pick the Thunder could hope for come the summer, Collins makes perfect sense for Oklahoma City.
As for the Hawks, they are said to be demanding a lottery-level first-round pick for Collins. At 11-15 on the season, Oklahoma City might be in a position where it is picking in said lottery this year. Throw in a future second-round pick and this could very well work for Atlanta.