Hawks extend qualifying offer to John Collins

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young and forward John Collins (right) get together to begin the game against the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday, July 3, 2021, in Atlanta.  Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com
Caption
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young and forward John Collins (right) get together to begin the game against the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday, July 3, 2021, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

The second move of the Hawks’ offseason has been made.

The first was to lock up Nate McMillan as head coach, as the team removed the interim tag from this title the day after the season. The second was, as expected, to extend a qualifying offer to John Collins, which will make the forward a restricted free agent, a person familiar with the situation confirmed. The offer was extended Thursday.

According to The Athletic, which first reported the offer, the qualifying offer is for approximately $7.7 million. However, that is only a formality, as it allows the Hawks and Collins to work out a new contract or gives the Hawks the ability to match any offer from another team once NBA free agency begins.

Collins reportedly turned down a contract worth $90 million before the season.

In Collins’ fourth season, after the Hawks drafted him with the 19th overall pick in 2017, he averaged 17.6 points and 7.4 rebounds in 29.3 minutes in 63 games. He shot 55.6% from the field, including 39.9% from 3-point range. In the Hawks playoff run to the Eastern Conference finals, Collins averaged 13.9 points and 8.7 rebounds in 32.0 minutes over 18 games. He shot 54.9% from the field, including 35.7% from 3-point range.

Hawk general manager Travis Schlenk said following the season that the team definitely is interested in bringing back Collins.

“I told John yesterday that I was extremely proud of the way he played this year,” Schlenk said earlier this month. “He made a decision to go to restricted free agency last fall. A lot of times, that can impact a player. I think what you saw from John, he wasn’t playing for his numbers. He was out there playing for the team to win. A lot of cases when guys are going into free agency, you can see the opposite. We didn’t see that at all in John this year. I think that speaks very highly of his character and what he’s about. He’s about being on a winning basketball team.”