Tuesday morning, Shams Charania of the The Athletic shed a bit of light on some of the potential suitors for Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins in his upcoming restricted free agency. Charania notes that in league circles, Collins’ postseason play “increased his value as a max contract-caliber player.”
Charania lists the Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves as among the potential suitors for Collins. The Hawks obviously have the ability to match any offer, and can offer an additional year on top of the four years that other teams can offer the versatile big man.
Collins drawing interest comes as no surprise, as he has been a solid two-way player for some time now, and was able to put that on display during Atlanta’s unexpected postseason run. While he wasn’t often a centerpiece offensively, he showed the ability to knock down shots, play solid defense and compete on the glass when the stakes were at their highest. He is someone who has improved every step of the way throughout his career, and, aside from the suspension hiccup last season, has been a leader both in the locker room and on the court.
As the longest tenured Hawk currently on the roster, GM Travis Schlenk will have a hard time letting Collins slip out of his hands as a restricted free agent. While it remains to be seen what kind of offers the Wake Forest product will receive from other teams, Atlanta may be poised to match any offer.
Teams are officially allowed to contact free agents August 2, while the rumors are sure to keep flowing in the mean time.