The Atlanta Hawks made an offer that fourth-year forward-center John Collins couldn’t refuse, as the 23-year-old agreed to a five-year, $125 million contract on Day 3 of free agency, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports.
A restricted free agent, Collins has long since expressed a desire to remain with the Hawks when his rookie contract expired but reportedly believed his play was deserving of a maximum salary contract, which he was holding out for (h/t The Athletic and Stadium’s Shams Charania).
Collins’ athleticism, shooting range and hustle had made him all but a franchise cornerstone in Atlanta but now he has the contract to confirm his status.
A player who produced consistently every season, Collins’ 2020-21 campaign was an extension of his near All-Star-worthy 2019-20 season, as he finished the year with averages of 17.6 points and 7.4 rebounds per game (with a true shooting percentage of 64.5) despite sharing the frontcourt with Clint Capela (14.3 rebounds per game) and Danilo Gallinari (13.3 points per game).
After the first playoff run of his career, John The Baptist only increased the likelihood he would be resigned, not only crashing the glass and doing the dirty work but taking it to his opponent’s without fear.
With Collins locked in for the foreseeable future, the Hawks will look continue to developing internally, banking on the combination of their young core—led by superstar Trae Young—and veteran additions to lift them to the top of the Eastern Conference.