The Boston Celtics clearly hold John Collins in high regard. However, it sounds as if the Atlanta Hawks’ view on their 23-year-old forward may be even grander than that of the Cs.
Jared Weiss and Sam Amick of The Athletic reported that the Hawks’ initial response to Boston’s pursuit of Collins was to package a larger deal centered around All-Star Jaylen Brown. Unsurprisingly, such a deal wasn’t going to gain any traction unless Atlanta was willing to off their “two main building blocks.”
“Since the 24-year-old All-Star plays the most valuable position in the game and just started a below market four-year deal, that was not going anywhere unless Atlanta was looking to include Trae Young and DeAndre Hunter, their two main building blocks,” Wiss and Amick noted. “Trades for young top picks with long-term control like this are exceedingly rare, especially once they have hit the All-Star threshold.”
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Celtics-Hawks Trade: Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire?
Brown will almost certainly not be moved, as he is likely the only untouchable player on Boston’s roster aside from Jayson Tatum. However, that’s not to say a trade between the Celtics and the Hawks is off the table.
The Ringer’s has reported that Boston is one of a handful of teams showing “significant interest” in Collins, adding that the Hawks are searching for one young player and a first-round draft pick in exchange or “a package of similar value such as multiple first-round picks.”
One of those players that could potentially be included in a Collins package is Marcus Smart. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Hawks have expressed interest in acquiring the guard ahead of the deadline.
With that said, it appears that if the Celtics have their way, a trade with the Hawks would yield them more than just Collins. Per O’Connor, “Boston’s pursuit of Collins also involves another key Hawks rotation player, according to league sources: Bogdan Bogdanovic, whom the Celtics had some trade discussions about while he was in Sacramento.”
Brad Stevens & Jaylen Brown on Grizzlies Loss
The Celtics dropped their fifth game over their last seven contests on Monday night. Shorthanded, with both Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum out of the lineup, Boston clawed their way to overtime but ultimately fell short in a six-point defeat at the hands of the Memphis Grizzlies.
“You can go back to the last five or six minutes and some of our bench was playing great basketball,” head coach Stevens told reporters postgame. “It doesn’t mean they’re always necessarily able to generate the best shot, obviously those guys are still growing and learning, but that’s how we want to play. That’s our best chance of utilizing our team to its fullest and it allows you, kind of like the defensive stuff, to be in a game like this where you’re shorthanded.”
Brown, whose 27 points and nine rebounds led all Celtics players on the night, was encouraged by his team’s efforts despite being down two of their biggest stars.
“We’ve made adjustments on the offensive end, what we want to look for,” Brown said. “Cutting is one. Threes and layups is something they’re challenging me with — less midrange jump shots, things like that. I’ve been really good in those areas, but that’s just something for our team that we feel like is a better shot. So, continuing to just make the right plays the best we can.”