According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, sources indicate the San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat, and Minnesota Timberwolves are among the teams who are expected to show interest in Hawks restricted free agent John Collins this offseason.
Among those four teams, the Spurs are projected to have the most cap space with $49 million in room. The Mavericks can open $25.5 million, but would risk losing Tim Hardaway Jr. The Heat can open $28.1 million in room, but would also risk losing Victor Oladipo, Kendrick Nunn, Duncan Robinson, and they’d have to waive Goran Dragic and Andre Iguodala.
The Timberwolves are even further away from cap space. Even if they let all their free agents walk, they’d still be $17.1 million over the salary cap. Minnesota would have to look at moving about three to five players without taking salary back to open north of $20 million in cap space.
Since Collins is a restricted free agent, teams will first give him an offer sheet, and if he signs it, then Atlanta would have 48 hours to decide if they’ll match the offer sheet or let Collins leave to the new team.
According to ProFitX, Collins’ salary projection is a low of $19.8 million to a high of $25.8 million. Charania reports that after Collins’ playoff performance, he could be looking at a max contract. A max contract for Collins would start at $28.1 million. The Spurs could offer a max offer sheet and see if Atlanta is willing to match or not. In this scenario, San Antonio would still have $21 million in room while they wait to see for two days whether the Hawks match or decline the offer sheet.
ProFitX is a dynamic financial and performance index powered by Artificial Intelligence with front-office optics displaying 17 visual and time-series models for 480-plus NBA athletes. The Athledex models historical, dynamic, and future performance data to monitor and project insights on contracts, performance, injuries, team fit, development, and potential. Follow them on Twitter at @ProFitXAI and on Instagram.
Ben Simmons Trade Discussions Begin
While the Spurs aren’t linked to this rumor, Charania also noted the 76ers have started speaking with teams about trade discussions involving Sixers All-Star Ben Simmons.
Charania reported that the Sixers are looking for an All-Star caliber player in a trade for Simmons. A Simmons to the Spurs trade question was a frequent one we recently got on the Spurscast. The only player on the Spurs’ roster this past season who played at an All-Star level this past season for San Antonio was DeMar DeRozan per ProFitX.
Since DeRozan will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, in a hypothetical trade scenario, the Spurs and Sixers would have to make such a deal work through a sign-and-trade agreement if the Spurs, Sixers, and DeRozan all had an interest in making such a deal happen.
The Spurs could absorb Simmons’ $33 million salary into their room, and then sign-and-trade DeRozan to Philadelphia. DeRozan is projected to get a contact in the $25.9 million to $34.9 million range per ProFitX.