The Atlanta Hawks continue to struggle this season, and as the trade deadline approaches, buzz about what potential changes are to come are beginning to hit the surface. Monday morning, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that forward John Collins has “grown increasingly frustrated” with his role in Atlanta and “often times has felt his voice unheard” amid the Hawks’ struggles this season.
Collins has seen his shot attempts per game decrease and usage rate decrease each of the last three seasons, notes Charania, even as he has improved his game offensively in multiple areas each season. Charania also mentions Cam Reddish as another player who could be part of a package in a trade, and that Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers might be a common sense target for the defensively challenged Hawks.
Collins signed a five-year, $125 million deal with the Hawks this past offseason, and is eligible to be traded Jan. 15, which happens to be this weekend. The Hawks are 17-22 as we near the halfway point of the season, and have the fourth worst defensive rating in the NBA as of Monday morning.
Simmons is one of the best defenders in the league and might bring something to the table in that area, though his offensive fit with Clint Capela (who cannot be traded until the offseason) would be much more challenging as Simmons is obviously another non-shooter like Capela. Simmons has not played for the 76ers this season (and since the Sixers’ Game 7 loss to the Hawks in the playoffs) as he continues to hold out in hopes for a trade.
The trade rumors are sure to keep swirling around the Hawks, as they have not met expectations this season and have plenty of appealing young pieces. More to come...