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John Collins argues he deserves max extension from Hawks

Hawks, John Collins

John Collins may have missed 25 games during the 2019-20 NBA season after violating the league’s drug policy, but the Atlanta Hawks big man sees dollar bills in his future in the form of a max contract extension.

In an interview with Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Collins shared his belief that he deserves to get a max contract extension with the Hawks. However, he did note that he understands the business side of the NBA before highlighting his desire to stay in Atlanta.

“When we’re talking max numbers and money, I feel like I definitely (am in) the conversation to have earned that money with the Hawks specifically, but obviously I know there’s business and we don’t always get exactly what we want,” John Collins said. “But I want to be a Hawk, I want to stay with the Hawks.”

“I feel like we’ve both invested ourselves in each other… I feel like we both want to see our investments in each other pay off. In that sense, I just want to know where I am. I want to know I’m locked in as soon as I can rather than having to wait, which I know happens, but when you do wait, a lot of other stuff mentally creeps in during the season while I’m tired, while I’m playing, ups and downs, injuries, but that’s also a part of just being a pro athlete.”

Collins was selected by the Hawks with the 19th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. He has since turned into a capable partner with Atlanta’s rising star point guard Trae Young.

The 22-year-old big man was slapped with the 25-game suspension after just five games into his third year. However, in the 36 appearances between sitting out and later sitting at home while the league is in a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Collins came back with a vengeance and averaged 22.2 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.

Should the Hawks view Collins as a longtime piece next to Young and the rest of the developing roster, negotiating for a max deal may be what’s required to keep the big man in Atlanta for a while.