Atlanta Hawks CEO Dismisses John Collins Trade Rumors

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Tensions are beginning to run high in Atlanta. Yesterday, Atlanta Hawks CEO Steve Koonin appeared on The Dukes & Bell Show on 92.9 FM The Game to set the record straight about the latest John Collins trade rumors.

The two radio hosts asked Koonin about a story we reported on early Friday afternoon. Never one to mince words, Koonin said, “I would say it starts with bull and ends with…” 

As we detailed in our story yesterday, the rumors come from a legitimate source. Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report appeared on Nate Duncan’s podcast and said, “There’s someone I talked to today who had just spoken to Atlanta in recent days who said John Collins is clearly the guy that they’re most interested in moving.”

Fischer continued to say, “It seems like that marriage is bound to be coming to a close.” The Hawks let Collins finish his rookie contract and enter restricted free agency before eventually signing the high-flying forward to a 5-year, $125 million contract in August 2021. 

Despite the new contract, that has not stopped Atlanta’s front office from shopping Collins around. The 24-year-old was heavily linked in trade rumors leading up to the trade deadline – most notably for former Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons.

John Collins has remained in trade rumors for two years.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Fischer believes the Portland Trail Blazers are a strong candidate for acquiring Collins via trade. The NBA insider said, “Someone told me today that if Portland offered the 7th pick to Atlanta, they think they would do it straight up. And I think there’s a way to make it work with the Eric Bledsoe contract and that $3.9 million guaranteed. That’s a framework that’s been talked to me about something to look out for. I don’t know if it’s been discussed, so I want to be clear.”

It’s up to you to decide who you believe in this dispute. Either way, the 2022 NBA Draft is in less than two weeks, and free agency begins on July 1. Stay locked into for breaking news, highlights, and analysis.

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