The Atlanta Hawks have reservations about signing John Collins to a significant long-term contract extension this offseason, according to sources around the league. Teams inquired about the availability of Collins at the deadline due to that perceived hesitation.
Collins' range likely starts at the four-year, $77 million extension signed by Domantas Sabonis with the Indiana Pacers before the start of the season.
Collins, for his part, believes he's proved his value.
“I mean, I feel like I am a priority to the Hawks in terms of my value in the young core,” Collins said. “I feel like that’s no question. Priority in terms of — I don’t know. I definitely feel like I am a priority to them. For a lot of money? I just don’t know personally. I feel like it’s been a unique situation, but I feel like my play has garnered a bigger contract. This is when you want to start comparing, but it’s just a matter of if they’re going to reciprocate the respect back.
“I definitely feel like I am in max contract contention. If I finish this season averaging 20 and 10, the other guys who are averaging 20 and 10 are max-caliber guys. I’m in that conversation and feel like I am worthy of being extended as such. That’s for the Hawks to decide and figure it out. If you want to look at numbers and flat-out play, I definitely feel like I’ve earned it. But the team situation, future cap and all that, now you have a contract negotiation.”
The Hawks could wait until Collins becomes a restricted free agent in 2021.
“I wouldn’t take it personal, but my antennas would be up, for sure,” Collins said. “If I can leave it at that. My antennas would be up.”