San Antonio Spurs: Trading for John Collins still a longshot for Spurs

iNov 20, 2017; San Antonio, TX, USA; Atlanta Hawks power forward John Collins (20) dunks the ball against San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Manu Ginobili (behind) during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
iNov 20, 2017; San Antonio, TX, USA; Atlanta Hawks power forward John Collins (20) dunks the ball against San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Manu Ginobili (behind) during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
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As a group, it seems like San Antonio Spurs fans are pretty happy with the state of the team right now, and why shouldn’t we be? The team is playing respectably, young players are showing out, and the Spurs are still in the thick of the playoff race. There’s room for improvement but overall, you have to feel good about the state of the Spurs today.

That said, if there is one piece this team could use right now it’s a young, mobile, offensive focused frontcourt player. Jakob Poeltl has been a defensive monster over the past few games but the absence of a floor spacing threat in the Spurs frontcourt is clearly hurting some of the Spurs.

The player who has been hurt the most by this seems to be Keldon Johnson. He’s been killing it at the rim for most of the season but over the past five games he’s really struggled. He’s shot just 34 percent from the field over that period and the added bodies in the paint are clearly bothering him.

All of this had made John Collins quite the attractive player to Spurs fans. He could help the Spurs in both the short term and down the road. But despite rumors of the Hawks opening up to the idea of dealing Collins, I wouldn’t recommend putting to much hope into the idea of Collins in a Spurs uniform. At least, not this season.

Hawks listening to offers but San Antonio Spurs unlikely to trade for Collins

According to Sam Amick of The Athletic (subscription required) the Hawks are going to entertain offers for Collins, but that doesn’t make it a certainty that he will be dealt, not even close.

“The John Collins situation in Atlanta will be worth watching as the deadline nears…Rival executives believe his NBA future will eventually be elsewhere as a result, there’s a complicating element that is coming into play: He’s a pivotal part of their team right now.

And considering the widely-known reality that the playoffs are a massive priority for owner Tony Ressler & Co., that makes the prospect of trading Collins quite tricky.

No matter how much interest there might be.”

Collins’ role with the Hawks, and the Spurs frustrating in-house ban on trading for stars, makes a deal between these two teams unlikely to happen.

Could the Spurs put together a convincing offer? Absolutely. They’ve got young players on good deals, all of their draft picks, and a few seasoned veterans on expiring contracts. They could surely come up with a winning offer for Collins. But it doesn’t seem like the smart move for them right now.

He will be a restricted free agent this summer and if he and the Hawks are as far apart as rumors make it seem on his next contract there could be room for the Spurs to slide in. If San Antonio truly wants to add Collins to their team, that’s how it should happen. No need to give up young players and picks now when you’ll have a chance to make your case a few months from now.

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John Collins is exactly the kind of young, explosive frontcourt player that the San Antonio Spurs should be looking to add to their team. But there’s a right and wrong way to go about this. If the asking price is as high as it sound like it’s going to be it would be wiser for the Spurs to wait until the summer to make their pitch.

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