1. The Spurs own a bundle of the Hawks' future draft capital
The Collins trade is not even close to the most notable deal Atlanta has made in the past few years. The 2018 draft-night deal that sent Luka Doncic to Dallas and Trae Young to the Hawks is by far the most impactful transaction for their franchise. After that, their blockbuster deal with San Antonio to acquire All-Star point guard Dejounte Murray for a bevy of future draft picks holds the most weight.
If the Hawks’ front office continues flailing—it has hired two head coaches in three years and made a few win-now trades without much success—said draft capital could pay off handsomely for the Silver and Black. Though their recent hire of Quin Snyder should inspire some confidence in Atlanta making a breakthrough, all these moves have amounted to back-to-back first round playoff exits.
The Spurs own Atlanta’s first-round picks in 2025 and 2027, and they have the right to swap firsts in 2026. Trading DJ also allowed them to tank hard enough to enter the Wembanyama sweepstakes. All that for a player who potentially didn’t even want to be here in the first place? I’d say San Antonio did pretty well in that deal.
The cherry on top will come if the Hawks continue to slip and Trae Young eventually demands a trade. There are still two full years until the first pick conveys; that leaves plenty of time for Atlanta to face a “blow it up” scenario. If any of the picks the Spurs control land in the lottery, this deal may look like the coup of the century.