In recent years, rumors have swirled around John Collins’ future with the Atlanta Hawks. Now, a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN breaks the news that Collins has been traded to the Utah Jazz for Rudy Gay and a second-round pick.
ESPN Sources: The Hawks are finalizing a trade to send F/C John Collins to the Jazz for Rudy Gay and a future second-round pick. Atlanta’s largely unloading Collins’ three years, $78M for some roster building flexibility and alignment with looming changes to salary cap. pic.twitter.com/CpAfTNXKMq— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 26, 2023
Collins — who was coincidentally born in Layton, Utah — has been with the franchise since being drafted in 2017 with the no. 19 overall pick. In six seasons in Atlanta, he averaged 15.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. In 2021, after a protracted standoff of sorts, the Hawks and John Collins agreed on a massive 5-year, $125 million extension — with the final year being a player option.
But Collins’ offensive role in recent years has diminished playing next to Clint Capela for three playoff seasons. This past season, he had arguably his toughest season of his career, one that saw him average just 13.1 points per game on 50.8% shooting from the field and 29.2% from three.
As such, ‘Woj’ and other reporters have described this move as a salary dump for the Hawks, who are looking to reset their cap sheet going forward. This move takes Atlanta beneath the luxury tax threshold projected to be around $165 million in 2023-24. The Hawks will receive veteran forward Rudy Gay in return, who picked up a $6.479 million player option to facilitate the trade, as well as a future second-round pick. The official trade, however, cannot go through until the league office approves next season starting on July 6.