Nets Named ‘Prime’ Suitor for $125 Million 2-Way Forward

Jacque Vaughn

Getty Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn of the Brooklyn Nets speaks to the media.

It’s no secret that the Atlanta Hawks are looking to move on from their 25-year-old power forward, John Collins. The Brooklyn Nets are interested in trading for Collins and have even offered their sharpshooting veteran Joe Harris in exchange, sources told The Athletic’s Shams Charania, a proposal in which Atlanta has “not shown interest.” In a December 22 report from NBA Insider Marc Stein, the Nets were again linked to a Collins deal and even named as a “prime” suitor for the 6-foot-9 forward

“As reported here previously, Collins was nearly dealt to Sacramento last June in a swap involving the Kings’ Harrison Barnes before the deal abruptly collapsed. Several teams have been mentioned as potential Collins suitors this season — Utah, Brooklyn, Washington and Indiana prime among them — but the apparent desire of both team and player to move on from each other is proceeding slowly,” Stein wrote on his Substack. 

Eastern Conference GM Says John Collins Trade Would Cost Brooklyn Joe Harris & a Draft Pick

Collins could be a perfect fit for the Nets if they could land a trade for him. He’d slide into the Brooklyn frontcourt next to Nic Claxton, who is blossoming into one of the league’s best defensive big men. He’d bring another scoring threat to the Nets and the ability to grab rebounds. 

One general manager called Collins “the best guy out there who is gettable at the deadline, if you want a difference-maker,” according to Heavy NBA insider Sean Deveney. “He is the fallen-star type, and maybe just a new location is all he really needs,” the GM said. 

Another Eastern Conference general manager suggested to Deveney that it would take Harris and a pick as a starting point for Brooklyn to acquire Collins. 

“Anything that Brooklyn would be able to do is going to cost them Joe Harris and that pick, you have to figure. They have been reluctant to move Harris but if they’re going to do something significant, they will need his contract. (Collins) could help the Nets, he takes a lot of offensive pressure off KD (Kevin Durant). It could be this is as good as the Hawks are going to get. They need shooting and they need defense, but they probably are not going to get both in a deal,” the executive told Deveney. 

Hawks Turned Down Deal for Joe Harris

For a while, it was unclear how interested the Nets were in a deal for Collins, but then on December 12, Charania reported that Brooklyn had already offered Joe Harris in a proposed deal for Collins, to no avail. 

“Meanwhile, the Hawks have had several teams in the Collins market, such as Utah, Washington, Brooklyn, and Dallas, sources said. Atlanta has not shown interest so far in a potential framework that would contain Brooklyn’s Joe Harris, those sources said,” Charania wrote

NBA Executive Expects Nets to Deal Joe Harris This Season

Before the start of this NBA season, an NBA executive told Heavy Sports that the Nets were likely to move on from either Seth Curry or Harris by the trade deadline, and with recent reporting, Harris seems to be the tradeable asset. 

“One of them [Curry or Harris] will get dealt before the deadline, that would be my guess. Both are really good shooters, obviously, that is their skill. But both are bad defenders who will be targeted in the playoffs. Obviously, finding a new home for either guy has not been the priority for them this summer so, no, they have not really had talks about a deal for either guy, so far,” the executive said.

“But I suspect they’ll want to come out and see how healthy Harris is, see if he is back to his old form, then they may start to figure out what they can get for him vs. what they can get for Curry. Harris has more value if he can show he is healthy — he is not as poor a defender as Curry. If they’re going to try to make a deep playoff run, Harris is more likely the one they’d keep.”

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