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Sunday, March 3, 2024

NBA: Hawks trade Collins to Jazz for Gay, picks

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NEW YORK—The NBA’s Utah Jazz obtained forward John Collins from the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for swingman Rudy Gay and a future NBA Draft pick, according to multiple reports on Monday.

The deal, which cannot be completed until July 6 under league rules as a new free agency period looms, opens a $25.3 million trade exception, the largest in the NBA, for the Hawks, according to reports by ESPN and The Athletic.

John Collins

Collins, a 25-year-old Utah native entering his seventh NBA campaign, averaged 13.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.0 blocked shots a game for Atlanta this past season.

With the Jazz, Collins will be on a frontline alongside Finnish forward Lauri Markkanen, last year’s NBA Most Improved Player with a career-best 25.6 points a game, and All-Rookie center Walker Kessler, who averaged 9.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.3 blocked shots—fourth-most in the NBA—per game.

The Hawks have a year to use the trade exception, which could be used to help Atlanta keep free agents or chase available talent to add alongside All-Star guard Trae Young.

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Gay, 36, is a 17-year NBA veteran who averaged 5.2 points and 2.9 rebounds a game in a reserve role for the Jazz last season.

Utah went 37-45 last season, three games behind Oklahoma City for the final Western Conference play-in berth.

Atlanta went 41-41 and grabbed the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs after a play-in triumph over Miami, but the Hawks were ousted by Boston in the opening round of the playoffs.

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