NBA Offseason 2023: Hawks Move John Collins to Utah

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According to reports from Adrian Wojnarowski and Jake Fischer, the Utah Jazz are acquiring John Collins from the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Rudy Gay and a second-round pick. While some may view the return as relatively light considering Collins’ status as a building block for the Hawks, the trade allows Atlanta to shed Collins’ contract, which would have cost them $78 million over the next three seasons. The move also reportedly grants the Hawks a $25.3 million trade exception, the largest in the NBA, and helps them get under the luxury tax threshold for the upcoming season.

Collins’ numbers have seen a decline since the Hawks entered playoff contention. Last season, he averaged 13.1 points per game, his lowest since his rookie year, along with career-worst percentages in 3-point shooting (29.2%) and rebounds per game (6.5), while playing his usual 30 minutes per game. The Hawks are looking for players who can complement Trae Young and Dejounte Murray, and Collins’ style of play may not have fit that mold.

A Potential Win/Win

The trade involving John Collins and the Utah Jazz is seen as a beneficial move for both teams. For the Atlanta Hawks, the deal allows them to offload Collins’ contract and get under the luxury tax threshold while generating meaningful flexibility for future roster moves and acquisitions. The $25 million trade exception acquired in the trade is a significant asset for the Hawks.

On the other hand, the Utah Jazz see this trade as a low-risk opportunity to potentially revive Collins’ career. Despite his recent struggles in Atlanta, Collins is still a young player with potential and will only be 26 years old when the season starts. The Jazz have the luxury of patience with a wealth of draft picks and cap space to work with.

The Jazz’s frontcourt will now feature a talented lineup including Lauri Markkanen, Walker Kessler, and Collins, providing them with size and versatility. They can continue to build their team with a long-term perspective while remaining competitive in the short term.

Hawks Needed This Move

Overall, the trade is viewed as a necessary move for the Hawks to shed a contract that had become burdensome and gain financial flexibility. For the Jazz, it presents an opportunity to potentially unlock Collins’ potential and bolster their frontcourt.

The Jazz, on the other hand, are likely hoping that Collins can experience a resurgence in their system, similar to how Lauri Markkanen had a career year after leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers. Collins has shown the ability to be a versatile player who can rebound, stretch the floor, attack the paint, and contribute on defense. Utah will be aiming for him to make a positive impact and potentially elevate his game to new heights.