The Utah Jazz and John Collins will find renewed hope in one another

Utah Jazz, Lauri Markkanen, Atlanta Hawks, John Collins (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Utah Jazz, Lauri Markkanen, Atlanta Hawks, John Collins (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

Utah Jazz fans may really dig John Collins this season.

Fans should be hyped over the arrival of John Collins to the city. He comes to Salt Lake City with hope and hype, with many expecting the former double-double player to return to form following a year of unimpressive hoops. Unimpressive for one reason, an injury to his ball-dominant hand that hindered his shooting stats.

Salt Lake City offers a new chance for the young forward to find his voice as an NBA All-Star, something he was unable to do in Atlanta as a member of the Hawks ball club. Collins was a rising power forward for the team, but injuries and finding a fit alongside All-Star guard Trae Young sidelined those expectations of singular success.

Now, Collins has landed in Salt Lake City, home of the Utah Jazz, and of course Lauri Markkanen. Markkanen, like Collins, was once considered a guy that would never fully hit his peak. After two good seasons with the Chicago Bulls, Markkanen struggled in his next two years.

Then he arrived in Cleveland, and while he was a good addition to the Cavaliers, he was the fourth option most nights. After some nagging injuries through his first four years and up and down play, Markkanen came into Utah without a lot of certainty for what the club was getting, much like with Collins. Markkanen, however, caused the Jazz to supercharge their rebuild. Once considered a front-runner to get a top pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, the team ended up leading the West early on and was a prime candidate to make the playoffs barring some late injuries and the team resting Makkannen.

Now, Collins arrives at a club that is trying to build a habit of taking good, but uneven players, and turning them into All-Stars. And if the Jazz and head coach Will Hardy can do that for Collins, as they did before with Markkanen, then this is a club that will not only compete for the playoffs this year but may in fact do some serious damage with its lineup and potential two-man power trip in Markkanen and Collins.

Granted, neither man can do it alone, and even if Collins does hit the All-Star level fans are hoping for, they’ll still need other guys to step up; but if they can get Collins to the next level, then he and Markkanen could truly become the building blocks of the next great era of Jazz basketball.

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