The Utah Jazz’s front court will be adding another valuable piece in John Collins — news broke Monday that the team will be trading with the Atlanta Hawks for the 25-year-old power forward.

The trade can not become official until July 6.

The Deseret News’ Sarah Todd was in favor of the trade — which sends Rudy Gay and a future second-round draft pick to Atlanta for Collins — and wrote that Collins has reportedly been on the Jazz’s radar for some time.  

Quick reaction, analysis on Jazz trade for John Collins
The Utah Jazz are acquiring Utah native John Collins from the Atlanta Hawks

Getting a talent like the 6-foot-9, 235-pound Collins at an excellent value — getting a young starting power forward in exchange for a future second-round pick and an aging veteran in Gay — made the deal a “no-brainer,” Todd wrote, while also giving Atlanta financial flexibility.

What do national media members think about the trade from the Jazz’s perspective? Here’s a look at what five news outlets had to say.

The Athletic

The Athletic’s Zach Harper gave the Jazz an A for the trade, saying, “Acquiring him for almost nothing of short-term or long-term value in return is a major win.”

“The Jazz just saw Lauri Markkanen have his best season and become an All-Star and Most Improved Player by changing scenery to Utah. Maybe that’s too ambitious for Collins, but there’s plenty of room for him to grow,” Harper wrote. “The Jazz should be able to play Markkanen, Collins and Walker Kessler all together at the same time. Markkanen showed during his time in Cleveland that he can play the wing/small forward, and that should make the Collins transition a lot easier. It gives the Jazz a lot of frontcourt combinations they can utilize.”


ESPN’s Kevin Pelton graded this a positive trade for both teams, though he gave the edge to Utah — the Jazz received a B+ grade for the trade, the Hawks a B-.

“Spending their cap space in free agency wasn’t a likely outcome for the Jazz, who are still early in the process of retooling their roster after trading away Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell last summer. So Utah’s alternative path was probably using space to take on less-desirable contracts while adding draft picks, a market in which it could have competition from the Indiana Pacers, the Oklahoma City Thunder, the San Antonio Spurs and possibly the Washington Wizards,” Pelton wrote.

“Instead, the Jazz are basically treating Collins as an addition via free agency on a three-year, $78.5 million deal — albeit with the benefit of offloading Gay’s $6.5 million salary this season.

“Surely, part of the hope for Utah is that Collins’ shooting slump was the product of a sprain to his right ring finger in March 2022, one that apparently hadn’t healed by last summer. If another offseason allows Collins to get back to the kind of above-average shooting we saw prior to the injury, the value proposition becomes far different.”

CBS Sports

CBS Sports’ Brad Botkin gave the Jazz a B+ grade for the trade, with a move that fits into Utah’s mold of acquiring valuable assets while rebuilding their roster.

“The Jazz aren’t in a rush. They have a wheelbarrow of draft picks after the Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert trades. They have cap space. Kicking the tires on Collins is pretty much all upside,” Botkin wrote.

“It remains a question whether the Jazz will bring back Jordan Clarkson and/or Talen Horton-Tucker, both of whom will likely opt out to become free agents; if they don’t they can still have north of $20M in space even with Collins’ money on the books. 

“Utah can build with patience while still making an honest run at the playoffs in the short term. The Jazz were in the hunt last season until they strategically dropped out. Utah will start a huge, talented frontline in seven-footers Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler along with Collins. Add in Ochai Agbaji and No. 9 overall pick Taylor Hendricks and you’re talking about an average of 7-foot wingspans.” 

The Ringer

The Ringer’s Justin Verrier pointed out that Collins’ contract is more manageable for the Jazz than the Hawks at this point.

“The difference may lie in the cap details: Whereas the Hawks were bound to be squeezed by forthcoming extensions for not only Murray, but Onyeka Okongwu and the recently acquired Saddiq Bey, the Jazz had an estimated $47 million in space this summer, with few players clamoring to revel in Salt Lake City’s nightlife,” Verrier wrote.

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“In Utah, Collins is a luxury, and while it’s still hard to see a pathway for him to become the kind of player worth the $125 million he signed for just two years ago, the Jazz’s reported interest in Kristaps Porzingis before he was sent to Boston suggests they may say see some advantage to stocking up on size. The Cavs’ moves to overstuff their depth chart at the 4 and 5 helped pave Lauri Markkanen’s way to Utah in the first place, but given how they renovated the Finnisher into a potential star in short order, the Jazz will at least get the benefit of the doubt as they embark on a fairly audacious plan to make size and depth matter again.”

NBC Sports

NBC Sports’ Kurt Helin called Collins and the Jazz both winners in this trade — meanwhile, he listed the 2023 free agent class as the biggest losers (the trade loses the players leverage) and the Hawks not really winning or losing on the deal.

“Now Collins gets a fresh start and a fresh chance — and he has to take advantage of it. Collins will split time at the four with just drafted Taylor Hendricks and if Collins coasts Hendricks will eat up more and more of that run. Collins needed a fresh start and he got it. Can he take advantage of it?” Helin wrote.

“... Utah just landed a 25-year-old player at a position of need who, at the very least, is a quality NBA rotation player, and if he bounces back more than that — and they got him for nothing. It’s easy to picture Danny Ainge and Justin Zanik texting each other, saying, ‘They’re going to give us Collins for THAT!?!’”

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