Looking ahead to Collins leaving, Okongwu won? The Hawks have moved to aggressively reinforce this year’s off-season. In addition to Rajon Rondo, Kris Dunn, and Bogdan Bogdanovich, free agent “Stretch 4” Danilo Gallinari and Onyeka Okongwu of the center were nominated in 6th place in the draft.
With Clint Capela of the center also acquired in the trade last season and the talents are concentrated on the frontcourt, the departure of John Collins, whose contract will expire next season, is drawing attention. In his third year, Collins has been a Hawks young core with Trae Young as a power forward that averaged 21.6 points and 10.1 rebounds last season. The Hawks will need to offer an extension to retain Collins, as next season will be the final year of the rookie contract.
The Hawks GM Travis Schlenk said at a news conference the other day that he wanted to extend his contract with Collins, but it is reported that there is a gap between Collins and the team who want a Max contract.
Looking at the Hawks lineup next season, we can see that there are several players who have overlapping roles with Collins. Collins is a pick and roll picker, but Capella can also do this. Collins has a higher catch-and-shoot 3-point shooting power, but Capella has a higher defensive power. The new Gallinari can play an active role as a second-place playmaker as well as an outside shoot. Schlenk GM said at a press conference that Collins and Capella would be used as starters, but if they don’t fit, Gallinari and Capella could start in the starting lineup.
In addition, Gallinari, the reinforcement of Capella and the nomination of Okongwu can be interpreted as an organization assuming the case where Collins leaves the group. If the contract extension with Collins isn’t signed by the start of next season, rumors of a trade will surface at once.