The Atlanta Hawks (19-21) have been dangling John Collins as trade bait for quite some time now. Now it seems more likely than ever that the Hawks finally deal Collins to an NBA rival in an attempt to jump from ninth in the Eastern Conference to becoming a conference championship contender.

The only thing is, Atlanta has a STEEP asking price for Atlanta. An Eastern Conference executive reportedly told Heavy Sports that the Hawks want a “big-time return for Collins” and “something in that neighborhood” of what the Utah Jazz received when they traded their All-Star cornerstones, Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, over the summer.

Gobert was traded to Minnesota for four first-round picks and one pick swap, while Mitchell was traded to Cleveland for three first-round picks and two pick swaps, Collin Sexton and All-Star candidate Lauri Markkanen.

Collins is averaging 13.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game during the 2022-23 campaign. His lower numbers can be attributed to a new role and adjusting to De’Andre Hunter and Dejounte Murray taking up more shots and opportunities to score. However, Collins was a major contributor to Atlanta making an Eastern Conference Finals run in 2021 and certainly has All-Star talent.

It’ll be interesting to see if any team will take a significant step forward and essentially give the farm away for Collins by the time the trade deadline ticks down. The Brooklyn Nets are reportedly the main team showing interest. The Nets reportedly expressed interest in acquiring Collins during the 2022 NBA Draft and are looking to add a star or “power-forward-like player” heading into the season’s stretch run.

Atlanta will look to build a consecutive win streak when they take on the Bucks on Wednesday.

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