Rumor: Hawks eyeing Clint Capela, Tristan Thompson as cheaper alternatives to John Collins
The Atlanta Hawks are interested in big men like Clint Capela and Tristan Thompson, two players who could wind up being cheaper long-term alternatives to a young John Collins, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.
Collins has had success as a pick-and-roll partner to star point guard Trae Young, but he’s expected to demand well over $20 million per year, either this summer as part of an extension or as a restricted free agent in 2021.
The Hawks are reportedly unwilling to invest that large a sum in Collins, considering he’s limited defensively.
Capela is making $14.9 million in the second year of a five-year, $90 million deal — one heavily laced with incentives. Thompson, though three years older than Capela, is making $18.5 million in the last year of his contract, and is unlikely to demand much more in free agency — even after a career season that has seen him average 11.9 points and 10.4 rebounds per game.
This is the same reason why the Hawks reportedly backed out on the pursuit of Andre Drummond, given his free-agency demands would be way too stiff for the Hawks to pay.
Atlanta is being diligent about its pursuit of a big-man partner for Young, planning to invest any savings in another ball handler who can complement the star point guard.
Capela is easily option No. 1 here, considering he’s only 25 years old and is more athletic and a better performer at both ends of the floor. Yet the Hawks would be silly to discount Thompson, who can give them solid double-double production for a lot less, allowing them to build their roster with the money left over.
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