John Collins – Did the Atlanta Hawks and Trae Young really hold him back?
The Atlanta Hawks drafted Trae Young with John Collins already on the roster, and the hope was that the two young players would play well with one another and would launch the Hawks into playoff competition. That did happen, to some degree, but along the way, the team didn’t factor Collins into things; like the offense or the future.
And due to that Collins grew restless. Then came the trade rumors and then the constant issues with Young became more and more talked about and before it was all said and done, Collins was traded. Due to an injury that caused his 2022-2023 season to be marred, and partly due to their very expensive and under-performing roster, the Hawks traded Collins away for next to nothing.
A second-round pick and Rudy Gay was all it took to land Collins and now the Jazz seemingly have the best small forward/power forward duo in the league. The only question that remains to be seen is; whether can Collins take the next step without Young holding him back.
Young wasn’t all at fault for how the Hawks used Collins, but the Jazz sure seem like a better fit for his skill set. And with Collins on the third of a five-year contract (the fifth year is a player option), the Jazz are sure to have their fair share of opportunities to prove whether or not he was held back by the structure in Atlanta.