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Utah Jazz Trade for Hawks Forward John Collins

The Jazz frontcourt just got even deeper.

2023 NBA Playoffs - Boston Celtics v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

The Utah Jazz are trading little-used forward Rudy Gay for Atlanta Hawks starter John Collins. The news was reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

ESPN Sources: The Hawks are finalizing a trade to send F/C John Collins to the Jazz for Rudy Gay and a future second-round pick. Atlanta’s largely unloading Collins’ three years, $78M for some roster building flexibility and alignment with looming changes to salary cap.

The Hawks are looking to duck under the luxury tax threshold and build in long-term cap flexibility. The Jazz took a surprising leap forward last year after entering into a rebuild, posting a 37-45 record behind forward Lauri Markkanen and center Walker Kessler, both obtained in trade deals last summer for star players Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. Collins will augment their already-strong frontcourt.

Collins averaged 13.1 points and 6.5 rebounds while starting 71 games for the Hawks last season. He shot 50.8% overall, 29.2% from three-point range. The 25-year-old forward was once considered a burgeoning star before the Hawks shifted to a guard-oriented offense in recent years. Collins is signed through 2026 between $25.3 and $26.6 million per year, with a player option in the final year of his deal.

At 36 years of age, Rudy Gay appeared in 56 games last season, averaging 14.8 minutes, 5.2 points, and 2.9 rebounds while shooting a career-low 38% from the floor and 25.4% from the three-point arc. Gay has but a single year remaining on his contract, worth $6.5 million.