Chicago Bulls: Trading for John Collins would be a big mistake

John Collins, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
John Collins, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

It didn’t take long for the pre-free agency fireworks to start kicking off, as the Atlanta Hawks have already made a blockbuster trade to secure Dejounte Murray while the New York Knicks have frantically cleared cap space to sign free agent Jalen Brunson. As the competition continues to improve, the Chicago Bulls are going to have to do their best to stay ahead of the curve.

One notable trade target the Bulls have recently been attached to is Atlanta’s John Collins. It feels like he’s been on the trade block for as long as I can remember, despite being an important piece for the Hawks. In five seasons in Atlanta, Collins has posted an impressive 16.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game and spacing the floor with his 37.6% shooting from deep.

This is the first time I can recall, however, that Collins has ever been directly linked to Chicago. Matt Moore (@HPbasketball on Twitter) of The Action network reports, “Boston, Chicago, and Sacramento are three other teams that have shown interest in Collins”, per his sources.

Trading for John Collins is not the type of move the Chicago Bulls need to make.

Don’t get me wrong, Collins is a good player. Some would even argue a great player, under the right circumstances. But he is, without a doubt, not what the Chicago Bulls need to add this summer to continue improving as a team unit.

Unless the Hawks are eyeing Lonzo Ball ⁠— which would just be a disastrous decision for the Bulls to make in every way imaginable, in terms of roster construction as well as trading away a player that specifically wanted to come play in Chicago ⁠— you have to assume the return package here would primarily be surrounding Nikola Vucevic. The money just doesn’t make sense any other way.

Now, I have no idea why the Hawks would be interested in trading for Vucevic when they already have Clint Capela anchoring their center spot. But for the sake of this rumor, let’s say Atlanta wants to make this trade happen.

Where does that leave the Bulls? With Tony Bradley being the only true big man and therefore the starting center? Is Chicago supposed to yet again limit Patrick Williams’ development and growth by sending him back to the bench?

For the Bulls to have any interest whatsoever in trading Collins, he’d need to be one of two things:

  1. Better than DeMar DeRozan (he is not), or
  2. More cost-effective than Patrick Williams (he is not)

For that reason, I’m led to believe this rumor is just a smokescreen being deployed by Atlanta in hopes of improving Collins’ trade value. The Hawks have been heavily rumored to be in pursuit of stars like Rudy Gobert this summer, so it makes total sense why they’d look to increase Collins’ trade value to construct their ideal roster around Trae Young and the newly acquired Dejounte Murray.

Ultimately, I don’t think the Hawks are against trading Collins away. But after picking up a player like Murray without giving up any core pieces of their roster, they’re more likely to stay put than trade Collins away for scraps, especially not to a conference rival like the Chicago Bulls.

Next. One controversial free agent that may actually work. dark