John Collins, Atlanta Hawks
John Collins #20 of the Atlanta Hawks tries to drive the ball past Dorian Finney-Smith #10 of the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on February 06, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images


  • The Atlanta Hawks are believed to be asking for a major return for John Collins
  • An Eastern Conference executive claims they want a deal similar to Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell
  • The Brooklyn Nets can go for Collins, but may leave them bereft of depth

The Atlanta Hawks have had a turbulent season across the board, and their asking price for John Collins might be a little too much to stomach for any interested team.

An anonymous Eastern Conference executive spoke with Heavy Sports and explained what a likely return for Collins' services would look like–particularly with the Brooklyn Nets.

"The Hawks want him to be treated like an All-Star, they want a big-time return for Collins—not quite like the Rudy Gobert or Donovan Mitchell trades, but something in that neighborhood... The Nets can build a package around Joe Harris to make the money match, and add in Royce O'Neale and Cam Thomas," the executive was quoted to have said.

The Fanspo trade machine confirmed that such a deal can happen money-wise as the Nets will free up $6.4 million on their salary cap with the opposite happening to the Hawks.

Based on their calculations, the Hawks will be getting negative returns on their offensive and defensive ratings, minus-3.53 and minus 2.12 respectively, but they are projected to win one more game with their additions to the roster.

Since it puts the Hawks into a slight rebuild with the loss of a two-way big man, they will be expected to ask for some picks in return and the Nets have a decent offering of them between the upcoming 2023 NBA draft and 2029–though they have no 2024 picks.

However, such a deal might not be attractive enough for the Hawks front office to bite on according to the same executive.

"The Hawks would want someone more like Ben Simmons back, and maybe more. The Nets are looking to go for it this year. They're not looking to get rid of any of their top guys. Not the way they've been playing," the unnamed source stated.

Atlanta asking for a big return to send Collins to the Nets is fair since he tips the balance of power in the East in a major way as it allows them to become an even bigger threat.

A core of Collins, Durant, Ben Simmons, Kyrie Irving and Nic Claxton, coupled with solid bench play to propel them to the No. 2 spot, is a fearsome starting five that could theoretically win it all off the strength of that group alone.

However, gutting their roster of depth could also be a major problem once the playoffs come around.

Should the Nets make such a trade, the fanbase will be hoping that their health will hold up for the entire run–especially with Durant's MCL sprain not hindering him when it matters most.

John Collins
John Collins #20 of the Atlanta Hawks reacts after making a shot against the Charlotte Hornets in the first quarter during their game at Spectrum Center on January 23, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images