John Collins, Hawks, Jazz
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Jazz acquires veteran forward John Collins in trade with Hawks

After years of speculation, the Atlanta Hawks finally moved forward John Collins in a trade to the Utah Jazz.

The Hawks sent Collins to the Jazz in exchange for veteran forward Rudy Gay and a future second-round pick. The 25-year-old still has three years left in his contract worth $78 million.

The move also gives Atlanta a $25.3 million trade exception, which is the biggest in the league. The franchise has a year to use the exception before it expires. Gay is playing under his player option, worth $6.4 million next season.

Collins brings the Jazz another proven frontcourt talent to pair alongside All-Star Lauri Markkanen and promising center Walker Kessler. First-round pick Taylor Hendricks will also play a major factor in the Jazz’ revamped frontline.

Collins spent his first six seasons with the Hawks, where he averaged 15.8 points and 8.0 rebounds while shooting 55.1 percent from the floor and 35.6 percent from beyond the arc. Last season, he experienced a notable dip in production, averaging 13.1 points and 6.5 rebounds while shooting career lows with 50.8 percent from the field and 29.2 percent from deep.

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The change of scenery could be what he needs to get back on track. He will likely play a significant part in the Jazz’s offensive game plan under first-year head coach Will Hardy.

The Hawks’ decision to move Collins could signal more change ahead that may see DeAndre Hunter become the next offseason departure. Atlanta will likely continue to build the roster around star guards Trae Young and Dejounte Murray.

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