The Atlanta Hawks have some big decisions to make in free agency market in the coming weeks. Primarily, what to do with one of their key players: power forward John Collins.
On Thursday, the Hawks made their first key move of the offseason, extending a qualifying offer to Collins and making the four-year pro a restricted free agent, according to The Atheltic’s Shams Charania.
Collins’ qualifying offer is reported to be around $7.7 million for one year, which is unlikely to be enough to keep the big man on board with rumors continue that he could get a contact offer at near-max value. Adding fuel to that speculation is the report that Collins turned down a $90 million extension from the Hawks earlier this season, making his opinion of his market value clear.
As a restricted free agent, Atlanta will have the opportunity to match any deal offered to Collins by another NBA franchise, which creates a safety net for the Hawks should they have trouble negotiating a new contract with him prior to next season. It also opens up sign-and-trade opportunities, with Atlanta able to receive some level of compensation for the loss of a dependable starter.
Continuing to build upon a strong 2019-20 campaign, Collins is coming off a monster season for the Hawks, helping to lead them to the Eastern Conference Finals. Collins ended the year with averages of 17.6 points and 7.4 rebounds per game on 55.6 shooting from the field and 39.9 percent from three.
The Hawks finished the season fifth in the Eastern Conference standings and came just two wins shy of a trip to the NBA Finals, thanks in large part to the hustle and inside-out ability of John the Baptist.