1. John Collins
For what felt like the billionth year in a row, John Collins was heavily featured in trade rumors and ended up staying put. All that was the background for by far the worst year of his career — points declining for the third straight season, a career-low in rebounds per game and a career-low 29.2 percent from beyond the arc.
One of the major problems with Collins is that the Hawks have mostly relegated him to a standstill spot-up shooter in the corner, completely undermining his most significant strengths — athleticism, explosiveness and touch around the basket. As his 3-point percentage cratered, he simultaneously hit a career-high number of attempts. Roughly a third of his shot attempts this season were 3-pointers and nearly half of those came from the corner. Again, this is a player who at his most productive was a fringe All-Star operating primarily as a pick-and-roll vertical spacer and attacking with face-ups from the elbows.
Collins shot slightly better after Quin Synder took over as head coach but the ways in which he was used didn’t meaningfully change and there’s no real reason to think they will next year.
The Hawks have never been more prepared to trade Collins — Jalen Johnson played really well during the second half of the season. Onyeka Okongwu is ready for more minutes. De’Andre Hunter can play small ball 4 minutes and rookie replacements like Taylor Hendricks, Kris Murray, GG Jackson and Leonard Miller could all be available at the No. 15 pick. The Hawks have sufficiently tanked his trade value by misusing him and waiting so long but there’s no reason to drag this out any further. It’s time to trade John Collins.
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