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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Keeping John Collins was key for the Hawks’ championship hopes


Trae Young and John Collins will continue to be teammates.

Trae Young and John Collins will continue to be teammates.
Image: Getty Images

The Hawks just helped secure their core for the next 4-5 years. And who knows where the ceiling is.

It’s Woj bomb season, and one landed this morning saying restricted free agent John Collins has agreed to a 5-year, $125 million deal to stay with Atlanta

Keeping Collins was imperative to the Hawks organization, and having him resign with the team without giving him a max deal might be one of the best moves of this entire free agency period.

Collins played an integral role for the Hawks in a season where they proved that they are clearly ahead of schedule with an appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals. Everything just clicked when they switched head coaches, because under Nate McMillan they had one of the best records in the league. Guess who was also a big part of that resurgence…

Collins was the 19th pick in the 2017 Draft class and has gotten better almost every season he’s been in Atlanta. His scoring average took a slight dip last season from his 2019-20 campaign where he averaged 21.6 points a game, but he still shot over 55 percent from the field this season.

He’s a versatile and athletic forward whose outside game is starting to expand. The pick-and-roll with him and Trae Young, who’s already signed a max extension to stay with Atlanta, has proven to be deadly. And the playmaking ability of Collins coming out of the pick-and-roll was one of the main reasons Atlanta was two wins away from making it to the NBA Finals.

I believe Collins will progress into a consistent All-Star for Atlanta and a main piece of the core that will keep the Hawks in championship contention for years to come. Collins, like Young, has the mentality that is needed to win titles, he’s scared of no one and he isn’t afraid to make big plays when it matters.

With Young and Collins now locked in, the Hawks front office can now focus on developing other young pieces like Kevin Huerter, Cam Reddish, and De’Andre Hunter.

Last season’s success was no fluke, the young Hawks are coming.

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