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Atlanta Hawks pick up third-year option on John Collins

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Official word on perhaps the most obvious decision of Atlanta’s offseason.

NBA: Orlando Magic at Atlanta Hawks Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

With a bit of paperwork, the Atlanta Hawks officially exercised the third-year option for John Collins’ rookie scale contract, a decision on which was due by October 31. The option ties Collins to his contract through the end of the 2020 season, though between now and then, the Hawks will almost certainly pick up his 2020-21 option (Collins’ fourth season) to finish out his rookie scale contract with the team.

Collins, the No. 19 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, is slated to make $2.3 million in 2018-19 and now will lock in $2.7 million next year. Rookie scale contracts, especially for picks later in the draft, are the most team-friendly contracts in the entire league and Collins’ is no exception. After a very productive rookie year, he’s the entrenched starter at the power forward spot and will likely see an uptick in minutes over the 24.1 he averaged last season, as soon as he’s back on the court after suffering an injury in preseason.

With the ability to swing between both big man spots with vertical and lateral athleticism to add to his strength, Collins is looking to develop the more technical parts of his game in his sophomore season — dribbling, shooting from distance, and a bit of playmaking would be ideal to see from him. Defensively, experience will be the best teacher for the young man, as he has all the athleticism one would want from a modern big man but still requires some work on the mental side of the game.