Following an impressive playoff performance during a surprise run to the Eastern Conference finals, John Collins plans to re-sign with the Atlanta Hawks for five years and $125 million, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Restricted free agent F John Collins has agreed to a five-year, $125M deal to stay with the Atlanta Hawks, @excelbasketball agents Sean Kennedy and Jeff Schwartz tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 4, 2021
The 23-year-old forward averaged 17.6 points (on 56/40/83 shooting splits) and 7.4 rebounds in 29.3 minutes per game during last regular season. Collins played an integral role in Atlanta's playoff success, registering double-doubles in each of the last three wins in a second-round upset of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Collins turned down a contract extension in the $90 million range last offseason, according to The Athletic's Sam Amick and Chris Kirschner. That report from January also detailed a growing rift over ball movement between Collins and Hawks star Trae Young, who also agreed to a maximum contract extension this summer.
The Hawks fired head coach Lloyd Pierce two months later, replaced him with Nate McMillan and closed the regular season with a 27-11 record to capture the East's fifth seed. Their two playoff series wins proved that record was no fluke. A slight shift in Young's offensive focus and the victories that came with it seemed to soften whatever friction had plagued the two rising stars during their first three losing seasons together.
Atlanta extended the $7.7 million qualifying offer to Collins last week, making him a restricted free agent and signaling to would-be suitors that the organization intended to keep him. The Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves were rumored to be among those in hottest pursuit.
After the season, Atlanta owner Tony Ressler expressed optimism to reporters that the Hawks could re-sign Collins. However, in that same conversation, he added, "Not every player should have a max contract," and, "We are not committed to bad contracts," raising questions about how close the two sides might be.
“Our job is to come to a fair agreement with John," Ressler told reporters last month. "That’s our objective. There should be no question. He’s a really good player and maybe more importantly, a really good person. So the idea of having both is important to this franchise. That’s my view. The idea of being smart for both of us, to come to a reasonable place, that’s the objective, and there should be no confusion."
However far they might have been in negotiations, they found common ground early in free agency.
Extensions for Collins and Young will send the Hawks' payroll soaring in 2022-23, when Clint Capela, Danilo Gallinari and Bogdan Bogdanovic are also each due close to $20 million and De'Andre Hunter is extension eligible. Do not be shocked to see Gallinari on the move before deals kick in for their young core.
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