‘My growth in Atlanta was being stunted’


In July, John Collins was traded by the Atlanta Hawks to the Utah Jazz for Rudy Gay and a 2026 second-round draft pick, and now the 6-foot-9 forward feels his growth “was being stunted” in A-Town.

“ATL…..I know….. I took my time with this one. But this one definitely stung,” Collins posted on Instagram. “Being thrown into this fire as a kid, having no clue of the journey in front of me. It’s amazing how 6 years can fly by.

“Atlanta, Thank you for the Swag, the Culture, the LOVE, and thank you for embracing the kid with open arms. Atlanta thank you for never taking it easy on me. Because I am proud to leave you as a man!”

According to multiple NBA betting sites, the Utah Jazz hold 26th-ranked odds to win next season’s 2024 championship. Sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs, and Houston Rockets.

“To the Organization. Thank you for sticking with me, even at my lowest,” John Collins added. “Thank you for allowing me a place to grow. But as I see, it is this Hawks time to fly away from the nest. As my growth here is being stunted.”

“To all of my brothers and OG’s that I’ve been blessed to share the court with, y’all all know how I’m rockin…. But as we know this is a business. And my business in Atlanta has come to an end. I can only hope y’all love me like I do y’all!”

Utah Jazz forward John Collins thanks the Atlanta Hawks in an Instagram farewell post, hopes fans will continue to show their support

Collins turns 26 this Saturday. The Utah native was selected 19th overall by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2017 NBA Draft out of Wake Forest University. Collins made 41 appearances in the 2019-20 season, averaging career highs of 21.6 points, 10.1 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, and 33.2 minutes per game.

Since then, he hasn’t been the same player. In 63 starts of the 2020-21 season, Collins averaged 17.6 points, 7.4 boards, 1.2 assists, 1.0 block, and 29.3 minutes. However, he logged seven games with 30 or more points.

In Atlanta’s 124-108 win over the Golden State Warriors on March 26, 2021, the wing recorded a career-high 38 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, and one steal in 34 minutes as a starter.

Furthermore, Collins made 71 starts last season, averaging 13.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.0 block, and 30 minutes. More importantly, he shot career lows of 50.8% from the floor and 29.2% beyond the arc.

Despite his regression, Atlanta offered the forward a five-year, $125 million contract in August 2021. With the Jazz, he’s now slated to make $25.34 million in 2023-24 and $26.58 million in 2024-25. His deal also includes a $26.58 million player option for 2025-26.

Perhaps playing alongside Lauri Markkanen, the 2022-23 NBA Most Improved Player of the Year, will help elevate his game. In addition to the Jazz re-signing Jordan Clarkson to a two-year, $28.37 million contract, guard Talen Horton-Tucker exercised his $11.02 million option for next season.

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