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Thursday, July 9, 2020

Hawks’ John Collins thinks he deserves max contract

John Collins is one of the NBA’s more underrated talents, but he is definitely not underrating his own value.

Speaking this week with Sarah K. Spencer of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, the Atlanta Hawks big man expressed his belief that he is worthy of a max contract. Collins also added that he was hoping to get it from the Hawks.

“When we’re talking max numbers and money, I feel like I definitely [am in] the conversation to have earned that money with the Hawks specifically, but obviously I know there’s business and we don’t always get exactly what we want,” Collins said. “But I want to be a Hawk, I want to stay with the Hawks.”

“I feel like we’ve both invested ourselves in each other… I feel like we both want to see our investments in each other pay off,” the 22-year-old went on. “In that sense, I just want to know where I am. I want to know I’m locked in as soon as I can rather than having to wait, which I know happens, but when you do wait, a lot of other stuff mentally creeps in during the season while I’m tired, while I’m playing, ups and downs, injuries, but that’s also a part of just being a pro athlete.”

Collins, who is up for a rookie extension, was averaging 21.6 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game this season, just his third in the NBA. A pogo stick big man with velvety finishing ability around the rim at 6-foot-9, Collins had also been posting a career-high 58.3 shooting percent from the field and an elite 40.1 percent mark from deep.

The impending salary cap hit notwithstanding, the Hawks are one of the best situated teams in the league financially, as many of their players are still on cheap rookie deals. Making a sizable investment in Collins would likely be worth it but would still carry risk and is far from the team’s only option.

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