The Heat need a star scorer to boost their offense, and Collins, 23, who finished the season averaging 17.6 points per game, could fill that void. When the Wake Forest alum becomes a restricted free agent this offseason, Charania reported that Miami are “among the teams expected to show interest in Collins, believing he could be attainable.”
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While Charania noted that “Hawks owner Tony Ressler said after the season that he hoped the team reached a ‘fair agreement” with Collins,’ he doubts the two parties “will find that threshold.”
Following Collins’ dominating performance in the playoffs, he averaged 13.9 points and 8.7 rebounds while drilling 35.7% on threes in 18 postseason games, the forward/center is looking to sign a maximum contract, which could be $125.9 million over four years if he signs with another franchise.
Collins Already Turned Down a $90 Million Contract With the Hawks
Collins took a huge risk turning down a $90 million contract extension with the Hawks, but he’s looking for a max deal that will pay him more than $28 million a year.
While Collins is no doubt a sought-after power forward, Bleacher Report‘s Tyler Conway struggles to see Atlanta letting him go.
“It’s unlikely that Collins is a top priority for any of the teams mentioned in free agency; he’s almost certainly a backup in case they miss out on bigger stars on the open market. Collins’ free agency may wind up lasting well past the first week of August as he tries to maximize his value.”
In Bleacher Report‘s 5 NBA Free Agents Most Likely to Be Overpaid This Offseason, writer Dan Favale said Collins will be able to negotiate “outsized deals that span more than a year or two,” and if Atlanta doesn’t step up, the Heat can swoop in.
Atlanta “paid Bogdan Bogdanovic and Danilo Gallinari last offseason, have Trae Young’s extension to think about this summer, employ Capela (having a terrific season, by the way) and selected Onyeka Okongwu, another big man, at No. 6 in the 2020 draft. Atlanta’s commitment to keeping Collins may be finite,” Favale reported.
Heat President Pat Riley Discussed Adding a Third Big Name for Next Season
The Heat would absolutely benefit by adding another All-Star to complement the team’s core that is Butler and Adebayo. With Victor Oladipo‘s future still up in the air, and possibly up to $34 million in additional cap space if they release both Goran Dragic and Andre Iguodala, Riley could make a blockbuster move to sign a top-tier free agent this summer.
“We’ll see,” Riley said during his annual postseason media conference on June 3, as reported by Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson. “The market will determine a lot of that as we move forward. I like the nucleus of our team. We have a great core with Jimmy and Bam; regardless of how they performed in the playoffs, we didn’t make a mistake on those guys.”
“I have a pretty good idea of what we have and where we are headed,” Riley said, “Despite the result of the Milwaukee series, which was bad… We are ready to move forward.”