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NBA trade machine: Deals for John Collins involving Suns, Heat, Clippers

The Hawks big man is on the trade block.

Atlanta Hawks v Portland Trail Blazers
John Collins of the Atlanta Hawks smiles before the game against the Portland Trail Blazers on January 30, 2023 at the Moda Center Arena in Portland, Oregon.
Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks have long been looking to deal power forward John Collins, who signed a five-year, $125 million deal with the franchise in the 2021 offseason. There appeared to be a slim market for Collins at the time but he still got a massive deal. His production hasn’t quite hit the level Atlanta expected, and the Hawks are hoping they can find a trade partner soon.

Here’s a look at deals for Collins involving the Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers courtesy of the ESPN Trade Machine.

Trade 1

Suns get: John Collins
Hawks get: Dario Saric, Torrey Craig, Jae Crowder, 2024 first-round pick swap

This is really just salary relief for Atlanta, who has been linked to Crowder this season. Getting off Collins’ salary frees up the Hawks to make moves in the summer. For the Suns, Collins represents another long-term contract which seems to be against the mantra of ownership. However, he does fit well in their system and consolidates their rotation a bit. Collins can play well with Deandre Ayton and is also capable of anchoring small-ball lineups as a center. He would also potentially close games for Phoenix. This is a low-cost move for the Suns, who are hoping to make a run in the playoffs this year.

Trade 2

Heat get: John Collins
Hawks get: Duncan Robinson, Dewayne Dedmon, 2023 first-round pick, 2024 first-round swap, 2026 protected first-round pick

Shedding Collins’ salary to take on Robinson’s deal doesn’t really help the Hawks, and sending the big man to a division rival can have serious consequences. However, the Heat can offer enough draft compensation to get involved if the market for Collins doesn’t develop as expected. Pairing Collins with Bam Adebayo would make the Heat a true defensive force without sacrificing any key young players in the rotation. Miami usually chases stars but might have to settle for a player like Collins this time around.

Trade 3

Clippers get: John Collins
Hawks get: Marcus Morris, Robert Covington, 2029 first-round pick

The future first is always intriguing, and the Clippers can add a swap here to sweeten the deal. The Hawks can also adjust the players in the deal if they want, as Luke Kennard and Nicolas Batum are also available. Terance Mann is likely the only rotation player truly off the table in a discussion. In return, the Clippers get some size in the frontcourt and a scorer who can lead some bench lineups while Kawhi Leonard and Paul George sit.