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#pounditFriday, December 1, 2023

Hawks trade John Collins to Western Conference team

John Collins looks on

Mar 11, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins (20) reacts during the second half against the New York Knicks at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

John Collins has been mentioned as a trade candidate for quite some time, and the Atlanta Hawks are finally moving on from the big man.

Collins on Monday was traded to the Utah Jazz in exchange for Rudy Gay and a second-round draft pick, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. The move creates a $25.3 million trade exception for the Hawks, which is the largest in the NBA.

Collins will join All-Star big man Lauri Markkanen and All-Rookie center Walker Kessler in Utah’s frontcourt. One recent report claimed the Jazz were planning to target another big man in free agency, but that did not work out.

The Hawks will be far below the luxury tax threshold when the Collins trade becomes official on July 6, but they may not stay there very long. Wojnarowski reports that Atlanta is in “deal-making mode” and ownership is willing to move above the luxury tax to improve the roster.

Collins, 25, averaged 13.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game last season, which was his sixth in Atlanta. He is owed $78 million over the next three seasons, so unloading him should help the Hawks retain their young core of Dejounte Murray, Onyeka Okongwu and Saddiq Bey.

The Hawks are coming off another disappointing season in which they went 41-41 and lost in the first round of the playoffs.


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