The proposed trade sends the 25-year-old former Atlanta Hawks first-round pick

The Atlanta Hawks (21-22) have been mired in controversy these days. Be it their decisions on the pitch or behind the scenes, nothing they do seems to fly under the radar and unfortunately very little of it has been positive. That would include their 114-105 loss to the Milwaukee Bucs despite losing two starters including Trae Young.

Of course, her two-game winning streak could certainly be the start of something to fuel her for the rest of the season.

That doesn’t mean they won’t continue to be involved in trade talks, especially when it comes to their embattled big man John Collins, who has been on the trade bloc for more than two years despite signing a five-year deal. $125 million contract.

This last hypothetical deal would put him in a difficult position with an Eastern Conference rival.

The Atlanta Hawks would land Pacers swingman Chris Duarte with this trade

“The Pacers had flagged second-year security guard Chris Duarte as off-limits in trade talks with some opposing staff … Indiana has since made the 25-year-old available in recent dialogue,” writes Yahoo! Sports NBA insider Jake Fischer. “Indiana has internally discussed the prospect of adding Collins.”

received falcons

Chris Duarte

1st Choice

Indiana was previously linked to Collins by Fischer, who previously noted the Pacers’ desire to add a power forward to the roster. They should be one of the many tanking teams this season but find themselves a spot ahead of the Hawks in the East standings.

Duarte was drafted 13th overall last year — seven picks ahead of Hawks forward Jalen Johnson — and earned his way onto the all-rookie team.

This season has been a completely different story as his numbers have gone down along with his playing time. The 6-foot-6 Duarte averages 7.0 points on 45.4% true shooting and after knocking down a hair under 37% from beyond the arc as a rookie last season, he has less than 28% of his this year Threesome scored.

He dropped 25 points and hit 4-of-9 triples against the Memphis Grizzlies in a win in the last game.

In many ways, it’s a similar situation to Collins, who is three months younger than Duarte despite being drafted four years earlier. The former’s statistical decline is well documented as its usage is reaching career-low rates this season.

But Collins has averaged 16.3 points at 58.4% true shooting with 8.8 boards, 1.4 blocks, and nearly 1.0 assists per game in his last 10 games.

He also had the game-winning pick in the Hawks’ 113-111 win over the Pacers on Jan. 13.

Fischer notes that Indiana is currently said to have three first-round picks in the 2023 NBA draft. The immediacy of this return might be enough to overcome Collins’ significant loss of talent to Duarte, which is another concern. The Hawks have reportedly lowered their asking price for The Athletic’s Sam Amick.

But it’s also been said they want a starting-level power forward to replace Collins. They have forward Jalen Johnson as a sophomore, but he’s not ready to rely on him to that extent at this point in his career.

If the goal is simply to move Collins, the Hawks could agree to this deal (or a similar one) to bring a player under control and shave some of their bottom line.

Indiana does not have to adjust salaries because of its cap space.

It just seems they should persevere more or try to find a way to make it work with Collins, which hasn’t happened so far.