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Before superstar Trae Young joined the Atlanta Hawks, they had power forward John Collins, a promising, athletic, first round pick out of Wake Forest that was meant to serve as a cornerstone foundational piece for their rebuild project.

Fast forward to the summer of 2022, and John Collins has been at the forefront of various trade rumors dating back several months. Prior to the NBA Draft, speculation began to mount around the possibility of Collins being included in a trade package to the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for guard Dejounte Murray.

However, once Murray was acquired from the Spurs in exchange for Danilo Gallinari and three first round draft picks, Collins’ name crept back onto the scene once again in July when the Hawks were rumored to be pursuing a trade with the Brooklyn Nets for Kevin Durant. Much like the first rumor, the second didn’t come to fruition, and Collins has remained a Hawk.

Having one’s name on the trade block is a concerning sign from a player’s standpoint. It illustrates that the trust and investment a team has for you is not only being questioned but is also being directed elsewhere, casting a lot of uncertainty about the role and foothold a player has on the team.

That all said, until a trade actually happens, there’s nothing to lose when you’re in that position. And the best approach you can take is to put in your all to get better any which way you can so that maybe, the team reconsiders their initial interest in trading you in the first place.

For Collins, this is very applicable. Possessing several great strengths as a scorer and rebounder as is, Collins has areas of his game that could use some refining and, ultimately, make him too good to trade away for the Hawks. However, what does the soon-to-be 25-year-old need to improve in order to hold onto his role and job in Atlanta?

Here are the two biggest factors that Collins needs to work on if he stands a chance to be on this team for the entirety of next season.

Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins guards Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura.
Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins tries to dribble past Brooklyn Nets forward Nic Claxton.

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