Report: Kings explores John Collins trade with Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins (20) gestures after a dunk during the first half against the Indiana Pacers in an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb.  8, 2022, in Atlanta.  (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins (20) gestures after a dunk during the first half against the Indiana Pacers in an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

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Sacramento’s plans for the No. 4 pick in Thursday’s NBA draft have been the subject of numerous trade rumors in recent days, but the Kings are exploring other possibilities as well.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Monday the Kings are “becoming increasingly comfortable” with the idea of ​​keeping the No. 4 pick, likely to select Purdue guard Jaden Ivey or Iowa forward Keegan Murray. However, they have talked to the Atlanta Hawks about acquiring John Collins in a deal that would not include Sacramento’s first-round draft pick.

“The Kings are becoming increasingly comfortable drafting at No. 4 in Thursday’s draft and have described a steep price for teams behind them in the lottery who are attempting to trade up,” Charania wrote, citing unnamed sources. “Sacramento general manager Monte McNair has engaged in conversations around Hawks forward John Collins — among a slew of other established, productive players in the market — but there has been no involvement of the No. 4 pick in the discussion centered on Collins, and McNair will ultimately make the decision on the pick, according to sources.”

Collins, 24, is a 6-foot-9, 226-pound power forward who came out of Wake Forest with the No. 19 pick in the 2017 draft. He was an NBA All-Rookie Second Team selection in 2018.

Over five NBA seasons, Collins has averaged 16.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.0 blocks while shooting 55.9% from the field and 37.6% from 3-point range. He had his best season in 2019-20, posting averages of 21.6 points, 10.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks while shooting 40.1% from beyond the arc.

Collins is entering the second year of a five-year, $125 million contract with a player option in the final season. His 3-point shooting would help the Kings spread the floor for De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis. He is a capable defender who communicates well and offers adequate rim protection, something Sacramento desperately needs. He also fits the timeline the Kings are on with 24-year-old point guard De’Aaron Fox and 26-year-old center Domantas Sabonis.

The Kings can construct a package that features Harrison Barnes, who is owed $18.4 million in the final year of a four-year, $85 million contract. Barnes, 30, averaged 16.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists while shooting 39.4% from 3-point range last season. He would help the Hawks fill the void left by Collins while offering nearly $84 million in salary relief over the next four years.

This story was originally published June 20, 2022 3:26 PM.

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Jason Anderson is an award-winning sportswriter for The Sacramento Bee. He started his journalism career at The Bee more than 20 years ago and returned to cover the Sacramento Kings in September 2018.

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