Atlanta Hawks’ Bold Move: Exploring Trading John Collins in Pursuit of a Higher Pick in the 2022 NBA Draft

The Atlanta Hawks’ Trade Plans in the 2022 NBA Draft

The Atlanta Hawks, holding the #16 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, have their eyes set on moving up to secure a potential lottery pick. To make this happen, they are open to trading their power forward, John Collins, who is reportedly unhappy with his current role on the team. However, the question remains: Are the Sacramento Kings or the Portland Trail Blazers willing to acquire Collins from the Hawks in a trade?

Trade Talks Surrounding John Collins

Amidst the trade talks, it is evident that John Collins, a key player for the Atlanta Hawks, might be switching teams. Collins, a power forward known for his skills and athleticism, has attracted attention from other NBA teams who see his potential contribution to their respective rosters.

The Sacramento Kings, in particular, hold the #4 pick in the upcoming draft and are actively shopping it to the highest bidder. Currently, Jaden Ivey from Purdue is the favorite to be selected fourth overall, making the Kings a potential target for teams interested in either selecting Ivey or moving up in the draft to secure another promising player. The Hawks could explore a trade with the Kings to acquire the #4 pick and potentially select their desired prospect.

Similarly, the Portland Trail Blazers have been in the process of rebuilding their team around their star player, Damian Lillard, following significant roster changes before the trade deadline. The Trail Blazers traded away CJ McCollum to the New Orleans Pelicans and sent Norman Powell to the Los Angeles Clippers, leaving Lillard in need of a supporting cast.

With a desire to add talent to their roster, Lillard has suggested a list of players he would like to see joining him in Portland. Among these names is John Collins, who could bring valuable contributions to the Trail Blazers with his skills on both ends of the court. The Trail Blazers possess the #7 pick in the draft, which they might be willing to utilize in a trade to acquire a veteran player who could provide immediate help to their team. Consequently, if the Trail Blazers agree to trade Collins to the Hawks and swap picks, Collins could end up heading to Portland.

Collins’ Unhappiness and Diminished Role

One of the reasons behind John Collins’ potential trade is his unhappiness with his diminished role on the Atlanta Hawks. As the team’s second-highest-paid player, Collins has a contract worth $75 million over the next three seasons. Reallocating this cap space through a trade would enable the Hawks to pursue a free agent who better complements their star player, Trae Young.

Unfortunately for Collins, his role within the team has shifted significantly, with the focus primarily centered around Trae Young’s playstyle. While Young’s scoring role has increased, Collins has seen a decline in his offensive involvement. Last season, Collins attempted only 11.9 shots per game, the second-lowest of his career. His usage rate also dropped to 20.5%, the lowest since his rookie season.

During the 2019-2020 season, Collins showcased his potential, averaging impressive numbers of 21.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. However, his statistics have experienced a decline since then. Despite the changes in his role, Collins aimed to adapt and embrace his new position, especially when Nate McMillan took over as the head coach after Lloyd Pierce’s departure. McMillan incorporated Collins more into the offense, but ultimately, the team’s strategy revolved around Young.

One of the challenges that come with this strategy is Young’s tendency to monopolize possession of the ball, often choosing to shoot before involving his teammates. This situation can be likened to the dynamics between Kobe Bryant and his teammates during his playing days. Consequently, the Hawks’ role players, including veterans, feel compelled to take their shots whenever they have the opportunity, as they are aware that the ball might not return to them during that possession. This style of play can inadvertently foster a sense of selfishness on the court, leading to challenges for the team as a whole.

As a result of these factors, the Hawks faced difficulties during the last season, ending with a record of 43-39 and securing the #8 seed through the Play-In Tournament instead of contending for a higher playoff seed. Addressing these issues and potentially making a trade involving John Collins could be a step towards finding a better balance and optimizing the team’s performance.


The Atlanta Hawks, holding the #16 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, are actively exploring trade possibilities to move up and secure a promising prospect. They have identified John Collins, an unhappy power forward, as a potential trade asset. The Sacramento Kings and the Portland Trail Blazers have emerged as potential trading partners, given their draft positioning and aspirations to strengthen their respective teams.

Collins’ diminished role and the shift in focus towards Trae Young’s playstyle have contributed to his dissatisfaction within the Hawks’ system. While he initially adapted to his changed role under coach Nate McMillan, the team’s heavy reliance on Young’s ball dominance has resulted in a brand of basketball that is perceived as selfish by some. As a consequence, the Hawks faced challenges in the previous season, failing to secure a higher playoff seed despite their aspirations.

In conclusion, the potential trade of John Collins reflects the Hawks’ and Collins’ mutual desire for change. The outcome of these trade discussions, however, remains to be seen. Such a trade could have a significant impact on the teams involved, reshaping their roster compositions and creating new opportunities for player development and success.


1. How does John Collins’ potential trade affect the Atlanta Hawks’ draft plans?

If the Atlanta Hawks proceed with trading John Collins, it could free up cap space and potentially allow them to acquire a higher draft pick or utilize the available resources to attract a free agent who complements Trae Young’s playstyle.

2. Which teams are interested in acquiring John Collins?

The Sacramento Kings and the Portland Trail Blazers have emerged as potential suitors for John Collins. The Kings currently hold the #4 pick in the NBA Draft, while the Trail Blazers possess the #7 pick. Both teams are undergoing roster changes and are looking to add talent to their teams.

3. How has John Collins’ role changed within the Atlanta Hawks?

Over the past seasons, John Collins has seen a significant decline in his offensive involvement and statistics. The team’s offensive strategy has primarily revolved around Trae Young, leading to a reduced role and fewer scoring opportunities for Collins.

4. What challenges did the Atlanta Hawks face last season?

Despite their aspirations, the Atlanta Hawks encountered difficulties during the previous season. The team struggled to secure a higher playoff seed and had to settle for the #8 seed via the Play-In Tournament. Their reliance on Trae Young’s ball dominance and a perceived sense of selfishness in their style of play were among the factors contributing to these challenges.

5. How can a potential trade involving John Collins impact the teams?

A trade involving John Collins can reshape the rosters of the teams involved, potentially leading to enhanced team dynamics and improved performance. It provides an opportunity for player development, roster optimization, and realignment of team strategies, aiming for better results in the upcoming season and beyond.

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Doug I. Jones

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