New Jazz Star John Collins Says His Growth Was ‘Stunted’ With Hawks

John Collins, Utah Jazz, Atlanta Hawks, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

New Utah Jazz star John Collins said in an Instagram post that his growth was “stunted” with the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks traded Collins to the Jazz this offseason. Atlanta drafted Collins with the 19th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft and signed the forward to a five-year, $125 million contract in August 2021.

An anonymous member of the Jazz told Keith Smith of Spotrac that trading for Collins from the Hawks was a “no-brainer” move. Utah traded Rudy Gay and a 2026 second-round pick to Atlanta for Collins.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: John Collins, Atlanta Hawks, Utah Jazz Updates

“Adding John Collins was a no-brainer,” the anonymous member of the Jazz said. “He’s an outstanding talent. We feel like he got lost in the shuffle some in Atlanta. With us, we’re going to make sure he’s regularly involved and has a consistent role. We want to play big lineups, because it’s an advantage we have over most other teams. John is going to be an integral part of that strategy.”

Collins averaged 13.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists last season for the Hawks while shooting 50.8% from the field, 29.2% from beyond the arc and 80.3% from the free-throw line.

A Wake Forest product, Collins has career averages of 15.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists with the Hawks in 364 games. The 25-year-old was in trade rumors for the past several years, so he’s happy those days are over with.

“I was excited going to a place that I knew really wanted me and was trying to have me in the organization,” Collins said in his introductory press conference with the Jazz. “You know, it’s always very nice to hear and know coming to a place that really wants you and wants you to excel here. It’s a big sigh of relief knowing that all the talk and trade talks are over and can go to my new home and start a new home.”

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: John Collins, Atlanta Hawks, Utah Jazz Updates

The Jazz now have Collins, Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler in the frontcourt. Utah missed the playoffs last season after trading All-Stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert last offseason, but the team could get back to the postseason in 2024 after acquiring Collins.

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