Suns linked to trade for prominent East big man
With Cameron Johnson hurt, Jae Crowder about to be traded, and Deandre Ayton on milk cartons, the Phoenix Suns could be bringing in some much-needed frontcourt help.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Friday that the Atlanta Hawks have opened up preliminary trade talks surrounding forward John Collins. Charania further says that the Suns are a team showing interest in Collins (though they reportedly seem uninclined to take on the long-term money that Collins is still owed).
Collins, who is in the second year of a five-year, $125 million contract, has career averages of 16.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game but has come off those a bit this season (averaging 12.6 points and 7.7 rebounds a night). He is no stranger to trade rumors either, having been linked to a couple of interesting teams as recently as the summer.
It is possible that the Suns’ reported qualms about Collins’ contract were a strategic leak to get Atlanta to sweeten the pot in a potential deal. Phoenix needs an energetic floor-spacing big man like Collins with Ayton regressing in terms of both effort and production this season as well as the undersized Torrey Craig having to start for them due to the current frontcourt situation. If not Collins, perhaps the Suns rekindle interest in another scoring forward.