On Monday, the free agency floodgates opened up as soon as the clock turned to six. Key players started inking deals with other teams while others landed new contracts with the team they played with last season.
While most key names were signed and off the board within the first few hours of free agency beginning, there were a few significant players working on their future still. One of those prospects happened to be Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins.
The 23-year-old former 19th overall pick has had an impressive rise over the last few seasons with the Hawks. After the 2017 NBA Draft, Collins averaged 10 points per game and 7.3 rebounds per game in an average of 24 minutes on the floor for Atlanta.
During the following season, he became a full-time starter for the Hawks. Putting up 19 PPG and collecting 9.8 RPG, Collins was beginning to look like a late first-round gem. By year three, he proved to be the real deal as he averaged a career-high of 21 PPG and 10.1 RPG.
Although his numbers took a slight dip this past season, Collins was still an important piece to the overachieving Hawks as they locked in the five-seed in the Eastern Conference and made a run to the Eastern Conference Finals.
As a restricted free agent heading into the 2021 offseason, Collins and the Hawks were expected to get a deal done. However, other teams were showing interest. Although it took a few days, Collins will return to Atlanta on a long-term contract, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Collins lands himself a five-year deal and is expected to make $125 million during that span. Now, he becomes the second young Hawks player to land a notable long-term contract this week as Atlanta re-signed their star point guard Trae Young to a max extension worth over $200 million on Monday.