The Kings were at the center of multiple trade rumors on the eve of Thursday’s NBA Draft at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Much of the speculation has focused on what Sacramento will do with the No. 4 draft pick with many teams trying to trade for Purdue guard Jaden Ivey, but the Kings are involved in other talks as well. .
Earlier this week, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Kings general manager Monte McNair had hired the Atlanta Hawks in talks on John Collins. Sacramento reportedly didn’t include the No. 4 pick in those talks, but there is potential for a deal involving Kings forward Harrison Barnes.
Veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein added fuel to the fire on Wednesday, reporting that Sacramento could be one of Atlanta’s “main options” in trade talks for Collins.
“The Hawks are evaluating a variety of scenarios as they pursue a trade with John Collins as part of Thursday’s draft, with a deal headlined by Collins and Harrison Barnes of Sacramento among Atlanta’s top options,” Stein reported.
The Hawks are also reportedly discussing other deals. Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported that the Hawks also discussed a deal that would send Collins to the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for Dejounte Murray. Athletic’s Chris Kirschner confirmed the teams had spoken, but he tweeted: “I’m told it’s not close to happening yet.”
Collins, 24, is a 6-foot-9, 226-pound forward who came out of Wake Forest the No. 19 pick in the 2017 draft. He was an NBA All-Rookie Second Team selection in 2018. During over five NBA seasons, Collins 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 a range by 3 points. He had his best season in 2019-20, averaging 21.6 points, 10.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks while shooting 40.1 percent 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 shot would help the Kings expand the field for De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis. He’s a capable defender who communicates well and provides adequate rim protection, which Sacramento desperately needs. Collins also fits the Kings schedule with point guard De’Aaron Fox, 24, and center Domantas Sabonis, 26.
The Kings can build a package featuring Barnes, who owes $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 percent from 3-point range last season. He would help the Hawks fill the void left by Collins while providing nearly $84 million in salary relief over the next four years.