Which players need to be dealt before the NBA trade deadline?
Yahoo Sports senior NBA reporter Jake Fischer and senior NBA writer Dan Devine discuss two players who they feel would benefit from a move to a new team at next Thursday's deadline.
JAKE FISCHER: We're going to talk a little bit about, like, some personal opinion, let's say, as opposed to actual intel, things that could happen. But they'll be rooted, obviously, in educated guesses, let's say, and people that have been dangling on the trade block for some time now. So pick a player you'd like to befriend by saying that you hope they get traded.
DAN DEVINE: The conception here is, like, you just want this to be over for them. They've been in this process for however long. And, like, you just want something to be different.
My guy on that list is John Collins. And John Collins, it feels like we've been talking about when John Collins would be traded, and for whom, and to whom, and for what, and whatever for, like, four years. Like, we were talking about whether John Collins would get traded before he got paid.
The instant John Collins got paid, we were talking about whether he would be traded. And it's persisted through, like, a couple of different iterations of the Hawks front office, a couple of different coaches, a couple of different roster organizations. Like, the organizational structure has pivoted in a bunch of different ways. But the "John Collins is getting traded" part has remained at its core.
I'd like that to be over. If I'm sick of it, imagine how John Collins feels. Yes, he is paid handsomely to deal with these sorts of slings and arrows and slights. But it can't be very fun.
They chose to keep him and then pay him. But even, as we've been talking about, with the idea of, like, eventually moving him on, I think he's good. I know he has not played as well this season as he has in years past.
But we're looking at, like, a 25-year-old legit four that can play small ball five and shoot. Like, what am I missing? Why is everybody so-- like, seem to be so down on John Collins?
JAKE FISCHER: Yeah, I think it's definitely the contract more so than the talent. The one curious thing about the John Collins contract being considered so lavish and expensive is that it's so long. By the end of that deal, it's going to be considered a value contract. I mean, that just my take, my feeling right now.
We don't know what the cap's going to look like. But by '24, '25, [? could-- ?] looking pretty good. There's always fear, from any executive, if I move this guy, how good will he look somewhere else?
DAN DEVINE: Mm.
JAKE FISCHER: And that's certainly, I think, the case in Toronto where OG Anunoby, who is my answer for this query-- Toronto has been all along, certainly considered to be super, super high on OG Anunoby. Masai Ujiri is considered to be the biggest fan of him. And he's obviously the biggest name atop that front office organizational chart.
And look, I think with both OG and John Collins, what could be curious, too, about their trade candidacies is that maybe both those guys in a postseason environment are most optimized as a small ball five when that is not their traditional position.
And at this time of year, I think people start to think about it, but it's not front of mind where when you're considering team building strategy and how much you're going to allocate positionally, the playoffs are everything. And that's just something that I think is starting to come up a bit more this year in my conversations around the league because everyone thinks they have a shot at the playoffs and going deep in the playoffs, right?
So with OG, personally, well, I wanted him to get traded. It's because I reported it back in May, and all Toronto and Canada yelled at me.
DAN DEVINE: They were mad at you. They were mad at you.
JAKE FISCHER: They're still mad at me. They're still mad at me. The fact that we're here, the fact that he's become the belle of the ball at the trade deadline, I don't feel necessarily vindicated. But I have been a little bit pleased by some Raptors fans coming in the DMs and saying, hey, I'm sorry, you were right.