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Hawks’ John Collins boldly declares Trae Young, himself as NBA’s best young duo

Hawks, John Collins, Trae Young

Atlanta Hawks big man John Collins believes he and All-Star point guard Trae Young are the best young duo in the NBA.

Collins is 22, while Young is 21. The Hawks had the second-worst record (20-47) in the Eastern Conference this season, but much of that has to do with the fact that Collins only played in 41 games due to a PED suspension:

The Hawks obviously have a lot of work to do to become even playoff contenders again. However, with John Collins and Trae Young leading the way, Atlanta at least has the right foundational pieces moving forward.

Young made his first All-Star appearance in 2019-20. The former Oklahoma Sooner star averaged 29.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 9.3 assists in 60 games. Young also shot 43.7 percent from the field, 36.1 percent from beyond the arc and 86.0 percent from the free-throw line while racking up 28 double-doubles and two triple-doubles.

Collins, meanwhile, put up 21.6 points, 10.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game for the Hawks in 2019-20. The high-flyer, who was very apologetic to the team about his PED suspension, figures to be extra motivated next season to quiet the naysayers. He’s also hoping to sign an extension in the offseason to stick around for the long haul. It’s unclear if Atlanta will want to pay the max-level deal he desires.

The Hawks franchise hasn’t made the playoffs since 2017. Along with Young and Collins, Atlanta is hoping to get major contributions from center Clint Capela.

The Hawks acquired Capela from the Houston Rockets at the 2020 trade deadline, but the big man couldn’t make his Atlanta debut this season due to a nagging heel injury. Capela has career NBA averages of 12.2 points and 9.7 boards. He figures to mesh perfect with Young in the pick-and-roll/lob game.