KEY POINTS

  • Hawks star John Collins has been touted as the "No. 1" power forward in free agency
  • Collins' camp is said to be interested in joining the Timberwolves
  • Hawks GM addresses the big man's situation

The Minnesota Timberwolves have a top free agent on their radar.

John Collins’ future with the Atlanta Hawks has become uncertain. After becoming an integral part of the team’s frontcourt arsenal since the last his sophomore year, he has yet to ink a contract extension with the Hawks.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst previously revealed on “The Hoop Collective Podcast,” that the Hawks were willing to offer a deal worth over $90 million for the dominant big man. But despite the team’s lucrative proposal, Collins opted to turn it down as he asked for a max contract instead.

With Collins deciding to enter the free-agent market, the Timberwolves have been tipped to be the player’s favored destination.

As per Minneapolis-based journalist Darren Wolfson, Collins and his “camp” is keen on teaming up with T-Wolves center Karl-Anthony Towns.

“I will say though, from some correspondence with somebody closed to [John] Collins, that that camp views this situation, the idea of Collins playing next to KAT [Karl-Anthony Towns] as favorable,” Wolfson recently said on his podcast.

Karl-Anthony Towns Karl-Anthony Towns has paid off for the Minnesota Timberwolves as the No.1 pick in the NBA Draft. Photo: Getty

Collins has been putting up the best career numbers with the Hawks. Last season, he recorded a career-best 22 points per game and appears to be continuing where he left off this season with 18 per outing.

With the Hawks still unable to seal a deal with Collins, ESPN’s Bobby Marks reported that the 23-year-old has now become the “No. 1 power forward” in free agency.

"John Collins ranks as the No. 1 power forward in free agency, and teams like Dallas, Miami and New York are well positioned to sign him to an offer sheet starting at $28 million for the first season," Marks said.

Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk, on the other hand, shared that the team respects its players’ career decisions. In Collins’ case, the executive assured that the franchise will try its best to keep the 23-year-old standout.

“John’s a big part of our team,” Schlenk told The Athletic of Collins. “He’s made the decision this fall to go to restricted free agency, and that was his choice and obviously we respect it.”

“But we’re going to have the opportunity to match any offer he gets,” he continued. “We’ll certainly make him an offer in free agency as well, and he’ll have the ability to see if he can get an offer from another team. But at the end of the day, we view him as part of our team, and I don’t see a restricted free agency situation where we would just let him walk for nothing.”

“We listen about all our guys, that’s our job, to see what the value of all our guys are,” the manager added. “John [Collins] is a good young player, and teams have interest in him, no question about it. But we listen on all our guys, I guess is the short answer.”