The Atlanta Hawks started the season 4-1 with an offense that looked like it just might be one of, if not the best in the NBA. Everything was going great. This was going to be the year this rebuild yielded results and we would be back competing in the playoffs.
Well now in the throes of a three-game losing streak which has included two blown 15-point leads in the second half, things are coming out that you generally don't love to hear about your team. Namely the fact that one of your young stars is making scenes during film sessions and calling out the franchise centerpiece for how he's running the offense.
The Athletic — John Collins, the fourth-year big man who just weeks before bet on himself in a big way during his failed extension talks with the Hawks, shared his unfiltered and unhappy views about the way franchise centerpiece Trae Young was running the offense. According to three sources who were either in the session or had knowledge of what was said, Collins raised several issues about the way these Hawks were functioning with Young at the helm.
There was no back-and-forth between the two, but the pointed criticism caught the attention of the room. And Young, sources say, made it clear to others later that he strongly disagreed with Collins’ assessment.
Generally not what you want!
I guess the fact that Collins and Atlanta never reached an agreement on a contract extension this offseason is an even bigger deal in light of this news, because it sure seems like he could be out the door now. Which is such a damn shame, because it is not commonplace to hit on a No. 19 pick like the Hawks did with Collins. That dude has done nothing but show up and produce.
But Travis Schlenk's entire reputation is staked on the success of Trae Young and he's going to be on the winning side of any situation like this because of it. And obviously Young would never be traded or anything like that, but Collins knows where he stands as it relates to Young, which is likely part of his frustration.
Let's just get this figured out, everybody. Remember two weeks ago when we were scoring 130 points a game and kicking everybody's ass? Let's just get back to that and hold hands and make everybody love each other again.