Miami Heat Highly Favored to Sign Atlanta Hawks Young Superstar

John Collins trade

Getty John Collins #20 of the Atlanta Hawks reacts after a basket against the Detroit Pistons during the second half at State Farm Arena on December 28, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia.

While the Miami Heat are linked to numerous trade deals that would take place before the March 25 deadline, a new report from ESPN’s Bobby Marks revealed they are also “well-positioned” to obtain Atlanta Hawks power forward John Collins in the offseason.

NBA Central tweeted Marks’ report on February 25, “John Collins ranks as the No. 1 power forward in free agency, and teams like Dallas, Miami and New York are well positioned to sign him to an offer sheet starting at $28 million for the first season.”

Collins, 23, makes for an immediately interesting choice for the Heat, but whether or not Miami makes a move for the former first-round pick out of Wake Forest will largely depend on what Miami does by the trade deadline.

As it currently stands, the Heat, with a 15-17 record, are in desperate need of a big man now to insure their chances of a successful postseason. If Miami obtains a power forward before the deadline, depending on the deal, they may not have either the cap space or the need for Collins.

Regardless of the Heat’s interest, the 6-foot-9 forward is not expected to stay in Atlanta after he turned down a $90 million contract extension, according to The Athletic‘s Sam Amick:

Despite the fact that he didn’t come to terms on an extension in the brief offseason, and that so many rival executives believe his NBA future will eventually be elsewhere as a result, there’s a complicating element that is coming into play: He’s a pivotal part of their team right now. And considering the widely-known reality that the playoffs are a massive priority for owner Tony Ressler & Co., that makes the prospect of trading Collins quite tricky.

What Kind of Offer Will Close the Deal on Collins?

GettyTrae Young #11 defends as John Collins #20 of the Atlanta Hawks blocks a shot by Jerami Grant #9 of the Detroit Pistons at the end of the second half to force overtime at State Farm Arena on January 20, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia.

While Collins had an explosive season last year, averaging, 21.6 points and 10 rebounds per game, the Hawks remained one spot away from dead last in the Eastern Conference. Thus far this season, Atlanta is 14-18 and sit in 11th place. Collins’ performance has dropped significantly, but he’s still averaging 17.4 points and 7.5 rebounds a game.

According to The New York Post‘s Marc Berman, “The Hawks reportedly are seeking at least a high lottery pick for Collins… but NBA executives feel they won’t trade Collins unless they get a whopping offer. Collins’ value to Atlanta seemed to decrease when they traded last season for center Clint Capela. The team is reportedly listening to offers for Collins because he turned down a $90 million extension offer and can become a restricted free agent this summer.”

While other teams such as the Dallas Mavericks are expected to make significant offers, Florida is home for Collins, who attended Cardinal Newman High School in West Palm Beach, which is just over an hour outside Miami.

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The Heat Have Been Linked to 8 Free Agent Options

Blake Griffin trade

GettyBlake Griffin #23 of the Detroit Pistons shoots the ball in warmups prior to the Pistons home opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Little Caesars Arena on December 26, 2020 in Detroit.

Name an available forward becoming available, and there’s likely a report linking them to the Heat. The franchise is trying to avoid the embarrassment that is coming off an NBA Finals run only and to miss out on the playoffs entirely the following season.

The Heat missed out on obtaining James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo, Miami still have their eyes on more than a few players around the league.

Big names tossed around thus far include the following players:

Detroit Pistons Blake Griffin

Houston Rockets DeMarcus Cousins & P.J. Tucker

Sacramento Kings Nemanja Bjelica

San Antonio Spurs Rudy Gay

Cleveland Cavaliers Andre Drummond

Toronto Raptors Kyle Lowry and Lonzo Ball

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