John Collins wanted a max contract extension – projected to be worth $125,903,904 if for four years – before last month’s deadline.
The Hawks apparently came fairly close.
Chris Kirschner and Sam Amick of The Athletic:
sources say he left a deal worth more than $90 million on the table
That’s a large extension to reject. Collins’ four-year rookie-scale deal was worth just $11,059,862. More than $90 million would’ve been life-changing money.
But it wasn’t the max Collins sought – and might get in restricted free agency next summer.
He’s a talented offensive player – explosive near the basket with increasingly dependable 3-point shooting. His defense needs work, but he has potential as a rim protector. And he’s just 23.
Atlanta has loaded up on bigs. The Hawks traded for Clint Capela, drafted Onyeka Okongwu No. 6 and signed Danilo Gallinari (who should primarily play power forward). Atlanta clearly still values Collins, but is also more-prepared to move on without him.
The Hawks have until the trade deadline to determine how much they’d pay Collins and how likely he is to get a larger offer sheet. If they deem him too likely to leave unmatched, they should trade him first.
That’s only one of the ways this situation naturally creates tension. Collins must have a big year to get the contract he wants. That looms over his feud with Trae Young about Atlanta’s offensive direction. Collins wants touches.
By rejecting the Hawks’ extension offer, Collins obviously bet on himself. But we’re learning just how large that bet was.