The Atlanta Hawks have traded starting forward John Collins to the Utah Jazz in exchange for veteran Rudy Gay and a future second-round pick, sources with knowledge of the move told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Monday (June 25).
Wojnarowski described the move as creating "dramatic financial flexibility" early in the offseason and noted that it will not become official until July 6.
"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," Wojnarowski tweeted.
The trade will create a $25.3 million trade exception for the Hawks, which is the largest total among all NBA teams, as Collins was owed $78 million during the next three seasons.
Collins averaged 13.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists during the 2022-23 season as the Hawks finished eighth in the Eastern Conference with a 41-41 record. Atlanta has reportedly discussed numerous iterations of a trade involving the 25-year-old throughout the year, but faced difficulties to receive a good return of assets given the NBA's new collective bargaining agreement.
Gay, who exercised his $6.4 million player option for the 2023-24 season, provides an experienced presence to the Hawks' roster and drop the franchise below the $!65 million luxury tax threshold.