Should the Nets make a play for John Collins?

Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins, right, is defended by Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero (5) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, in Orlando, Fla.
AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

The Nets have shown interest in trying to acquire Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins, according to multiple reports in the past few weeks. 

First, it was SNY’s Ian Begley who had reported last week that the Nets had “touched base” with the Hawks about Collins and on Monday The Athletic’s Shams Charania noted that the Nets were in “the Collins market.” The interesting note from the latest rumors was that the Hawks had not shown interest in a deal that would include Joe Harris in it. 

After the Nets picked up their fourth consecutive win and eighth in their last nine games, it’s becoming clear that Brooklyn should bolster their lineup to make a push for this season. But is Collins the right piece for the Nets to add? 

It’s no secret one thing the Nets have been missing through the start of the season has been size. Nic Claxton has been the Nets’ lone big and they could use some depth.

Additionally, another shooter wouldn’t hurt the Nets either, and with all of that in mind, Collins would make a lot of sense for Brooklyn. At 6’9″ he would be that added size that the Nets have been looking for. 

He also has the skill to be the shooter that the Nets need as well, even though this season hasn’t gone exactly to plan for him. Collins’ numbers have taken a dip this season as he’s averaged 12.3 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 1.3 APG, 48.4 FG% and 21.9 3P%. 

Still, that’s come in a diminished role in Atlanta and put back into the right role, he could thrive with the Nets, who have climbed their way back from the ugly start they had this year.  Collins also averaged a double-double during the 2019-20 season in points and rebounds. 

It’s interesting that the Hawks aren’t interested in Joe Harris, who has started to find his rhythm after a slow return to the year himself. Harris had been a name that popped up in rumors last year as well and it seems the Nets are at least open to the idea of trading the longest-tenured player on their team. 

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With that in mind, it would mean that the Nets would have to try and put together a different offer and one that could require a draft pick to be included. The Nets do have their first-round pick next year, but it’s unclear how willing Sean Marks will be to use that.

Come Thursday as well, players who were signed this past offseason are eligible to be traded, which means Patty Mills, Kessler Edwards, Markieff Morris, Yuta Watanabe, Edmond Sumner and T.J. Warren would all be moveable. That would make facilitating a trade a bit easier for the Nets as they explore their options. 

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