Following Atlanta’s surprise run to the Eastern Conference Finals last season, the Hawks rewarded John Collins with a five-year, $125 million contract extension. Their struggles this season, in addition to conflicting reports of his desire to play with Trae Young, might lead to him finding a new home at the NBA Trade Deadline. Here are the most likely John Collins trade destinations ahead of the NBA Trade Deadline.
John Collins Trade Destinations | NBA Trade Deadline
San Antonio Spurs
Collins is known to want a larger offensive role that is not possible with his current situation, which is while a John Collins trade seems likely. The engine to Atlanta’s offense is Young, and everyone else plays a role that fits their skill set. With the San Antonio Spurs not being a contender at the moment, he would have the opportunity to flourish at a position where the team has a great need. Collins would also benefit greatly from the teachings of Gregg Popovich.
San Antonio would have a lethal two-man game with Collins and Dejounte Murray, who has been one of the best individual stories this season. The dynamic point guard is a walking triple-double and has truly evolved into an elite play-maker. Surrounding those two young players with the likes of Keldon Johnson, Lonnie Walker, Devin Vassell, and rookie Josh Primo would provide the Spurs with an exciting young core that could quickly become a playoff team in the West.
Derrick White might be the piece Atlanta covets, and the Spurs have a logjam at the guard position anyway. Murray, Johnson, and Vassell are all excellent defenders who are locked up for at least the next three years in terms of free agency. Collins will be locked in even longer, giving the franchise stability as they continue to grow. This organization has never been about one superstar player paving the way, but rather a collection of great talent. That would be the case once again with Collins, who would be the ideal fit for this team.
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Reports have circulated about the long-term future of Donovan Mitchell with the Utah Jazz. Some have questioned his desire to stay in a small market, but perhaps a John Collins trade would persuade him to stay. It would be a reunion for Collins, who was born in Layton, Utah. Per Second Spectrum, a Young-Collins ball screen has generated over 1.05 points per possessions over the last three seasons. Collins could provide the Jazz with similar results, alongside Mitchell.
With the loss of Joe Ingles, the organization needs to make a move before the deadline. The forward position was already one of great need, and there is no doubt that Collins would be a great fit alongside three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert. The Jazz has fallen off a cliff without their big man, losing 11 of their last 13 games and riding a five-game losing streak heading into tonight’s matchup with the Nuggets.
The Utah Jazz have lost 10 of 12 games for the first time since the 2017-18 season. That team would respond by winning 21 of 23 games and won a 1st round playoff series. Let's hope this Jazz team can have a similar turnaround.
— Jeremiah Jensen (@JJSportsBeat) January 29, 2022
Utah is one of the top three-point shooting teams in the league, and Collins has shot around 40 percent in each of the last three seasons. The benefit over guys like Ingles and Royce O’Neal would be that he can go inside and give them an inside presence on offense when Gobert is off the floor. Just adding a talent like that would not only make this team a true title contender, it would likely assure it’s future with their All-Star guard.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have had quite the turnaround this season, with the continued development of Anthony Edwards and the maturation of D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns. Jarred Vanderbilt and Jaden McDaniels have performed well this season, but a John Collins trade would be a tremendous upgrade at the power forward position.
Neither Vanderbilt nor McDaniels are quality three-point shooters, and while the Timberwolves take the most threes in the league, they rank just 21st in terms of percentage. Collins would help in that area and would be a solid fit next to Towns on both ends of the floor. The West is wide open this year, and a deal like this would give Minnesota a great young core going forward.
Collins would give Russell and Edwards another outstanding pick-and-roll partner, while also opening things up for guys on the perimeter. The defense would still need to improve, but with the Timberwolves fighting for a top-six seed in the Western Conference, Collins just might be the one missing piece they need. It has been quite a while since anyone could say that about this franchise, with just one playoff appearance since the 2003-04 season.
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