New Orleans Pelicans: John Collins would be the perfect addition

(Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images)
(Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans need some changes to their roster and John Collins from the Atlanta Hawks is a guy they should be monitoring.

Collins has been involved in trade rumors since declining a $90 million extension in the offseason, an offer that was reportedly far less than he was looking for.

The Hawks are unlikely to trade him since he is an important part of the team and they are in the midst of the Eastern Conference playoff race.

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But Collins will be a restricted free agent in the offseason and the New Orleans Pelicans should do everything in their power to get him to the Big Easy.

Here’s why.

New Orleans Pelicans: John Collins is a perfect fit

John Collins checks all of the boxes for what the New Orleans Pelicans need.

He is a combo forward with size who can defend multiple spots. He shoots 40 percent from 3-point range and is an efficient offensive player who does not need the ball in his hands to be effective.

Collins doesn’t post up or play in isolation, getting most of his 18.5 points per game off cuts and 3-point shots.

On paper, this is the perfect type of player to put next to two ball dominant guys like Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.

The question is whether the Pelicans could afford to make him a big offer.

New Orleans Pelicans: Can the Pels afford John Collins?

The answer is: it depends.

If the Pelicans decide to trade Lonzo Ball or let him walk in the offseason, then they will have a slot available that they had originally intended for him.

The Pels could and should try to move on from Eric Bledsoe in the offseason and will have J.J. Redick off the books, so they would have the offseason cap space to make Collins a big offer.

Atlanta could match any offer the Pels make, which means they’d have to offer Collins the max, which will be somewhere in the range of 4 years/$120 million.

But the New Orleans Pelicans could also get creative and offer Collins a shorter deal with a larger annual salary that would then allow the 23-year-old to hit free agency again in his early prime.

The New Orleans Pelicans need depth at both forward spots and Collins could be the guy to provide it. The Pels need to monitor his situation closely to see if they can swoop in with a trade offer (unlikely) or try to steal him as a restricted free agent.

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