Here we go again. The Atlanta Hawks are reportedly open to trading John Collins for what seems like the dozenth time. This time could be different, however, and a deal might actually happen because the Hawks are willing to move John Collins and the 16th pick if it nets them a lottery pick. The Spurs, of course, have a lottery pick and have been linked to Collins in the past, perhaps increasing the chances of a trade.
A possible trade could involve the Spurs sending the 9th pick and Josh Richardson to the Hawks for John Collins and the 16th pick. In that scenario, the Hawks would get their lottery pick plus a two-way wing who can shoot the lights out. They'd also get out of having to pay Collins $102 million over the next four years. That’s something they likely can’t afford now that they owe Trae Young an average of $42.4 million a year.
In fact, the Hawks would save $10.3 million in that trade, and it could help them avoid paying the luxury tax. That should be a big selling point since the Spurs are one of only a few teams that could take back an extra $10 million, though the trade couldn't be made official until July 1st.
For the Spurs, adding Collins would finally provide them with a true starting-caliber power forward. Last season, he averaged an impressive 16.2 points and 7.8 rebounds, but it was actually down from his best season where he averaged 21.5 points and 10.1 rebounds. That shouldn't concern the Spurs, however, and All-Star Dejounte Murray could potentially help him get back to that level.
The hypothetical trade would also give the Spurs the 16th pick in addition to 20, 25, and 38, and put the team back in the enviable position of having too many picks. They can fix that by swapping the 25th pick for a future first or moving the 38th pick for two future second-rounders.
Those future assets could even help them work out a sign-and-trade this summer with a Collins deal possibly persuading a top free agent to join the Spurs.
All in all, with Anunoby and Collins available, as well as the seventh overall pick, the Spurs could reach out to the Raptors, Hawks, and Blazers on draft night to try and make a deal. While there's no guarantee they'd be able to get a deal done, they have the assets necessary to pull off a potential blockbuster trade ahead of free agency.