Trae Young and John Collins appear to have a rift in Atlanta and the Los Angeles Lakers could try and capitalize.
The Los Angeles Lakers‘ front office built a really talented roster over the offseason that is ready to contend for a second consecutive NBA title. However, that does not mean that the front office is not continuing to look for any possible upgrades when they arise.
One potential upgrade that might be on the market that was not on the market months ago is Atlanta Hawks forward, John Collins. Things are not going as smoothly as hoped in Atlanta, which has kickstarted the ol’ NBA trade rumor machine for Collins and the Hawks.
Per Chris Kirschner and Sam Amick of The Athletic, Collins has reportedly taken exception to how Trae Young has been running the offense thus far this season. Collins’ main point was to create more team involvement and flow in the offense, something that Young reportedly “strongly disagreed” with.
Young’s usage rate this season is a bit lower than it was last year (32.2%), but Collins does have a point. The Hawks have dropped four games in a row and rank 19th in eFG%. They absolutely can be more efficient and Collins himself has seen his numbers drop.
This is a big year for Collins as well. He is a restricted free agent after this season and reportedly turned down a $90 million extension from the Hawks. Collins is trying to get secure his bag and having his numbers go down after rejecting a hefty extension is not the best look.
This has created a potential trade scenario for Collins, with several outlets and websites in the FanSided Network making their case for a Collins trade. It certainly could happen, especially if the Hawks do not expect to match a massive offer sheet in the offseason.
Since he is young and essentially has team control, the Hawks could get solid assets in return for Collins. While it is not a foregone conclusion that he gets trades, I definitely think it is a possibility.
So what about the Los Angeles Lakers? Can the purple and gold work out a trade to land Collins in LA and add another difference-maker to the team?
No. The Los Angeles Lakers are not in the market for John Collins, at all.
Sorry to burst the bubble of any Laker fans that were hoping to see a dream trade for John Collins on this article, but it just does not make logistical sense for the Lakers (nor the Hawks) to get Collins in LA.
Would he be awesome to watch in LA? Obviously, but that does not mean that it is going to happen.
The main problem with trading for Collins is sending valuable assets in return. Since Collins is on his rookie deal, the Lakers cannot send a larger contract in return unless they take on a bigger contract to even out the salaries.
The team could still utilize Kyle Kuzma before his extension kicks in but the Hawks are not going to want Kuzma. Kuzma is essentially a much worse version of John Collins. Why would Atlanta want that?
The team would have to package someone like Talen Horton-Tucker (not happening) to even entice Atlanta to take a Kuzma for Collins swap. You could make the case of swapping Montrezl Harrell and Kuzma for Collins and a larger contract, but again, that does not really accomplish anything for the Hawks.
The Hawks would be much better off getting better youth in return and some draft capital. Harrell is not going to move the needle at all for them and quite frankly, the Los Angeles Lakers should not be looking to trade Harrell, even if his defense has been bad in crunch time.
If Collins is traded he is going to be traded to a younger team with cap space that can afford to extend him after this season and add him to the core.
A team like the San Antonio Spurs would make a lot of sense, not the Los Angeles Lakers.