NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN dropped one of his patented “Woj bombs” on Monday when he announced the Atlanta Hawks were trading sixth-year power forward John Collins to the Utah Jazz in what essentially amounted to a salary dump.
As most poeple who have been following the NBA closely know, Collins has been in trade rumors for three-plus years. The fact he was moved wasn’t that much of a revelation; it was the timing and weak return for Atlanta that made the deal a shocker. The Hawks only netting former Spur Rudy Gay and a future second-round pick was the definition of selling low.
As Woj explained, Atlanta agreed to this trade largely to get Collins’ three-year, $78.5 million contract off their books. The Hawks have other players due for extensions soon, and their front office wants to maintain flexibility as they continue building around Trae Young.
John Collins is much too talented for his value to have evaporated this drastically in one year, but the trade market can be cruel to organizations that hold onto depreciating assets for too long. This deal could have massive implications on the league as a whole, but no one will feel the ripple effects more than the San Antonio Spurs.