Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Around the same time last year, Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins was a popular name appearing in trade rumors. The Hawks had yet to sign him long-term and his long-term future with the franchise was uncertain. When the offseason hit, the organization signed him for a five-year, $ 125 million extension to keep him until 2025-26.
Keep in mind that this was after the Hawks finished 41-31, in first place in the Southeast Division. The ranking earned them the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, where they continued their momentum through to the Eastern Conference Finals, losing to future NBA champions.
With the Hawks’ roster remaining largely intact, it was thought that the young team would be able to enjoy roughly the same success this season, but that was not the case. After finishing with a 0.569 winning percentage a year ago, they are now at 17-22, with a 0.436 winning percentage.
Naturally, some frustrations started to crop up from within. Shooting the fewest shots since his rookie season, John Collins is one of the players with internal problems. His 20% utilization rate is also the lowest rating since his first year with the pros, which would have shocked him.
John Collins challenged the Hawks’ locker room
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Collins is “increasingly frustrated with his role” with the Atlanta Hawks. The report goes on to say that Collins has “challenged the Hawks’ locker room on several occasions.”
This follows Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk admitting his uncertainty over whether this current Hawks roster is built for the playoffs.
For what it’s worth, Collins can’t officially be traded until Jan. 15 as he signed his contract extension this summer. Interestingly enough, Charania also ties him to a potential Ben Simmons trade. With the Hawks having several desirable strengths, they’re certainly a team to watch before the February 10 NBA trade deadline.