Atlanta Hawks: Rebuild Has First Cornerstone In Collins

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 10: Tobias Harris
DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 10: Tobias Harris /

The Atlanta Hawks (2-12) are in the process of rebuilding and reconstructing the team. They might have found a future cornerstone to build on.

Common sense dictates that, when an organization says things like, “The rebuilding process has begun” and “We are proud to introduce you to our new GM”, the record won’t be stellar for that year. So far, this year common sense is being proved true for the Atlanta Hawks. It ain’t pretty, and we’ll just leave it there. But the addition of Rookie John Collins was a positive one.

The 6 foot 10 inch Forward, by way of Wake Forest, was the 19th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Collins was the first pick under new GM Travis Schlenk. It wasn’t necessarily a “sexy” pick, but foundations and cornerstones rarely are.

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Collins’ stats, thus far, have not been earth moving, but have shown that he could be a contributing member of the franchise for a while. He’s averaging, through 12 games, 10.4 Points and 7.2 Rebounds a game. He’s shooting just over 50% from the field and 74% from the line. Not eye-popping, but not terrible.

The reason why those stats should have a positive hue about them is that the rookie is doing that by splitting time, averaging only 20.9 minutes a game. That’s not bad, at all. In fact, the rest of the team isn’t doing much better. Dudes who have been in the league for years are still playing around that level. Hence, the overall team record.

But allow me to offer this. Another 6 foot 10 inch PF/C, who played as a 21-year-old rookie for the Atlanta Hawks averaged 10 Points per game, 9.7 Rebounds per game, shot just under 50% from the field, and did so averaging 31 minutes per game. His name was Al Horford. You might have heard of him.

Naturally, it is far too early to ascribe to young Collins the ability and pugnacious tenacity of Horford, but the markings are there. It isn’t far-fetched at all to point out similarities.

It is very early yet, in this season, and in John Collins’ career, but he seems to have the look of a talent and future building block for a team that is rebuilding from the ashes of 2015.

Next: Atlanta Hawks: Should Bring Jahlil Okafor to Atlanta

If Collins is anywhere close to being another Horford, the reconstruction has, in fact, begun.