Atlanta Hawks forward, and potential 2021 free agent John Collins has reportedly come out and said he hopes to resign with the Hawks long-term, for max contract money once his rookie deal is up. Despite Collins showing lots of promise, and having all-star potential and talent, this does come as a bit of a surprise for most people. We may be seeing a transition in the NBA, where players who are not their team’s best demand the max consistently, leading to eventual changes.
Collins has already made great strides in his career, and along with Trae Young and Clint Capela will form a formidable trio for years to come. However, there was a time not so long ago where the basketball world would have been stunned by a player like this wanting max money. Only the NBA’s elite had a chance at such lucrative contracts, and they were rarely given out directly after rookie deals. There may need to be major changes in the NBA landscape if there winds up being multiple players on every NBA team demanding this kind of money on contract extensions.
Collins’ ceiling is very high, as he has shown this season that he can be an effective stretch big and defender. Averaging 21 and 10 in your third season certainly makes you good enough for a big extension. However, what kind of problems might come with second stars demanding this much? Sure, Lebron and AD, and Kawhi and PG are all getting the max, but their teams are in win now mode. How will free agency and roster construction change if players at Collins’ level or below want max deals. What if teams like Orlando, Phoenix, Minnesota, New York or Sacramento were playing two players the max, because they would leave their teams if they didn’t offer that much? It will certainly be interesting to see if this move, among others changes the landscape of the league, regardless of whether Collins is worth the money or not.