The Atlanta Hawks hit a home run with the No. 19 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft and, considering it was the first draft selection of the Travis Schlenk era, that could be a sign of things to come. However, the legend of John Collins does not appear to be making its way around the league as quickly as it is around the city of Atlanta and that was evidenced by a list that emerged on Tuesday.
Bobby Marks, Chris Herring and Kevin Pelton of ESPN collaborated on an effort to find the best young prospects in the NBA and their mission was to rank “their top 25 players under age 25 based on future potential to make this new list of the league’s best young talent.” While it wasn’t a full-fledged shock to see the Hawks emerge with no players included, the lack of Collins was at least noteworthy.
It should be noted that Pelton ranked Collins at No. 22 on his own individual list, but the 20-year-old was not included on either of the other two. A full read of the rankings would be wise but, among 2017 draftees, Collins fell behind a few potentially controversial names like Lauri Markkanen and Lonzo Ball. Beyond that, older prospects like Philadelphia’s Dario Saric (simply to name one) checked in ahead of Collins.
At this juncture, Collins trails only ROY front-runner Ben Simmons among rookies in PER and, on a per-minute basis, he has been tremendous. In the grand scheme, this “snub” was neither surprising or downright appalling but it is safe to assume that Hawks fans won’t agree with the notion that John Collins isn’t one of the best 25 players under the age of 25 in the NBA.
What say you?