The Milwaukee Bucks are being advised to keep an eye on John Collins of the Utah Jazz, but not so fast.
The Utah Jazz are not intending to be anyone’s farm club in 2023 or 2024. The team has a young core of players and some lingering question marks but with Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler, the onus of the season is improvement, not regression. The Jazz may not swing big for a Zach LaVine, but they’re not going to start selling off their pieces like the Miami Marlins circa 2004 either.
So when you read about the Bucks persuing recently acquired forward John Collins, it’s not something that Jazz fans should expect to happen. That’s exactly what NBA insider Zach Lowe said on his Low Post Podcast (via Sports Illustrated, suggesting that the Bucks may want to trade for Collins. Apparently, according to Lowe, the Bucks were one of the teams interested in Collins before he got dealt from the Atlanta Hawks.
Apparently, Lowe thinks the Bucks can have Collins from the Jazz for just a first-round draft pick, and that seems about right.
"They kicked the tires on John Collins who got traded to Utah for nothing really, maybe that’s a name… If you’re a Jazz fan you might say, ‘Really, one first-round pick?’ That 2029 first-round pick, if it’s unprotected, is going to be considered very very valuable around the league because of the uncertainty around the Bucks’ future."
After all, if the Jazz are trading Collins at all it’s for two reasons. The first is that the Jazz are not playing well and are not a realistic playoff team and the second is that Collins is playing above his station from 2022-2023.
So it’d make sense that the Jazz would turn a second-round pick into a first via another trade with the Bucks. That said, the Jazz are a team that you shouldn’t bet against his year. The team should be ultra-competitive, and that should make any trade with the Bucks moot.