The Atlanta Hawks are reportedly fielding trade offers for star forward John Collins, and right off the bat, it sounds like the Utah Jazz are going to be one of his top suitors. However, the Hawks reportedly want Lauri Markkanen in return for Collins, which is a deal that the Jazz don’t sound too interested in taking part in.

It’s not hard to see why Collins is such a highly sought-after player on the trade market right now. Collins is a lethal offensive player who can play above the rim and space the floor, which makes him a guy many teams would be glad to add to their roster. He’s also just 25 years old, and is on a reasonable five-year, $125 million contract, although that may be a contract some teams aren’t willing to take on.

The Jazz find themselves in a strange spot right now, as they were widely expected to be rebuilding this season, but instead, find themselves in fourth place in the Western Conference. Utah could aid both their current team and their future by swinging a deal for Collins, so let’s take a look at the trade offer the Jazz need to make to the Hawks if they want to land Collins.

Jazz get: John Collins, Hawks 2023 first-round draft pick

Hawks get: Lauri Markkanen

Oftentimes, trades in the NBA get made more complicated than they have to be. But this one doesn’t have to be very complicated at all. We already have the parameters for a deal, as the Hawks want Markkanen, and the Jazz want Collins, so finding some middle ground between these two sides on a deal revolving around these players doesn’t seem like a huge task.

Right now, a straight up swap involving Collins and Markkanen doesn’t seem fair, and the Jazz are right to be hesitant to explore trades for Markkanen. He’s been the leader of Utah’s ridiculous hot streak to open the season, and is playing the best basketball of his career through 20 games of action (22 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 2.4 APG, 52.9 FG%).

On the other hand, Collins has seen his usage in Atlanta’s offense decrease significantly with the addition of Dejounte Murray this offseason. Collins is averaging lows across the board this season (12.3 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 1.2 APG, 48 FG%, 23.7 3P%) and it’s easy to see why the Hawks are exploring moves for him at this time.

Utah needs more offense if they want to sustain their hot start to the season, which is why they are interested in Collins. Collins’ stock is at an all-time low right now, and the Jazz have the assets to go out and get pretty much any player they want. With that in mind, they should be able to easily create a trade package that meets the Hawks requests.

The problem is that the Jazz would ideally like to play Collins alongside Markkanen in the frontcourt considering how good he has looked to start the season. Utah has a lot of scoring depth on their roster, but aside from Jordan Clarkson, no one else is averaging over 15 points per game, so they do have a need for an elite scorer to help Markkanen out right now.

But even then, the fit of Markkanen and Collins doesn’t seem very organic since both primarily play at power forward. Markkanen has played at small forward throughout his career, but again, given how he’s playing the best basketball of his career, there’s really no sense trying to fix something that isn’t broken.

While the Jazz have been excellent to start the 2022-23 season, they do appear to be cooling off a bit, as they have lost five of their last seven outings, and it remains to be seen whether they can continue to win with their current roster. Trading Markkanen may hurt, but his value also may never be higher than it is right now.

Entering the season, Collins had more value than Markkanen, but right now, the Jazz could end up getting more than just Collins if they moved Markkanen. Atlanta could technically eat some money to convince the Jazz to pull the trigger, but to avoid making this deal more complicated than it needs to be, I added the Hawks 2023 first-round pick to balance out the scales.

Atlanta’s first-rounder likely will come in towards the end of the first round in the 2023 NBA Draft, but it adds to the Jazz’s already impressive war chest of draft picks, while also giving them a talented player in Collins as well. Utah may not be too inclined to move Markkanen, but if their recent struggles persist, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them move Markkanen in a deal for Collins this season.