Sunday, June 26, 2022

Celtics may be interested in high-flying star: report

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After the Boston Celtics failed to get their 18th. One name recently mentioned as a possible target for them is the Atlanta Hawks’ John Collins.

The Athletic’s Zach Harper recently reported that there were rumors that the Celtics were interested in acquiring Collins. He added that her possible interest in Collins stemmed from Al Horford’s advanced age as an NBA player.

“There are also rumors that the Celtics may be interested in a deal for Collins. Al Horford is 36 years old and he has one year left on his contract which is not guaranteed. As great as he was for them in the postseason, the Celtics shouldn’t plan on him being a viable part of that rotation long-term. Collins is only 24 years old and putting him up front with Robert Williams III and Jayson Tatum would give the Celtics a young, dynamic trio at the helm.”

Horford’s contract is actually partially guaranteed. With the Celtics reaching the 2022 NBA Finals, his contract is now guaranteed for $19.5 million. It was also confirmed in June that the Celtics plan to fully guarantee the final year of Al’s $26.5 million contract next season.

Harper later explained in the same article that while the Celtics have some interest in trading for him, it would be difficult for them to win him as it would require a roster overhaul i.e. trading Jaylen Brown to to win Collins.

“The problem is … who are you giving up for Collins in this scenario? It’s not Horford. Would Jaylen Brown get involved here? This is where it gets pretty complicated. Brown is a far better player than Collins. Unless the Celtics have a guarantee on the point guard position that moves Marcus Smart to the two, finding a version of a Collins-for-Brown trade doesn’t make much sense. Brown is from Georgia so it would be a nice homecoming for him. My guess is that Boston’s “bringing home Brown” to-do list isn’t a high priority. The Celtics were two wins away from a championship and tinkering is better than an overhaul here.”

Collins would be a welcome addition for Boston, knowing how well he fits into the Jays’ timeline, but it’s difficult to imagine a scenario where the Celtics and Hawks agree to act if they know what everyone has in their arsenal.

Regardless of whether he’s joined the Celtics or not, it appears John Collins will have a new home one way or another next season. Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer said the Hawks will seek to trade Collins before the 2022 NBA draft begins.

In the 2021-22 season, Collins averaged 16.2 points and 7.8 rebounds while shooting 52.6 percent from the field, including 36.4 percent from three in the 54 games he played for the Hawks that season . Collins was sidelined on March 11 with a foot injury before returning on April 17 as the Hawks faced the Miami Heat in the first round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs.

The Hawks lost in five games.

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