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Report: Hawks extend qualifying offer to F John Collins, making him RFA

Collins is expected to be on the top restricted free agents this offseason.

2021 NBA Playoffs - Milwaukee Bucks v Atlanta Hawks
John Collins of the Atlanta Hawks looks on during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks during Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on July 3, 2021 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.
Photo by Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks have extended the qualifying offer to John Collins according to Shams Charania, making the talented power forward a restricted free agent. Collins is averaging 16.6 points and 8.4 rebounds per game in his four seasons with the Hawks.

The big man reportedly refused an extension upwards of $90 million ahead of the season, but the Hawks are showing they have no plans of letting Collins go for nothing. Atlanta can match any offer Collins signs in restricted free agency and there will be plenty of suitors for his services. The New York Knicks, Charlotte Hornets and Dallas Mavericks could all be in play here.

Collins did well in the postseason, averaging 13.9 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. While this was a slight drop from his usual regular season production, the Hawks went to the conference finals in their first playoff appearance since the rebuild began. Collins also shot 35.7 percent from behind the arc, a good sign of his development as a floor spacer.

With the Hawks taking the interim tag off Nate McMillan, Collins’ free agency is the next step in keeping the team’s momentum going. Atlanta is +3500 to win the 2021-22 NBA championship according to DraftKings Sportsbook, placing the group just behind the Mavs and even with the Miami Heat.