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Nets interested in Hawks’ John Collins?

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Atlanta Hawks vs Brooklyn Nets Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

In a story written before Tuesday night’s four-team, 12 player blockbuster, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic said that Nets had expressed interest in Hawks power forward John Collins ... and that Spencer Dinwiddie was “mentioned” in talks that Kirschner admitted may not have been that “advanced.”

A league source mentioned Houston and Brooklyn specifically expressing interest in acquiring Collins in the days leading up to the trade deadline. Teams that have had discussions with the Hawks have come under the belief that Atlanta is not interested in moving Collins at this time unless it is blown away by an offer, which doesn’t seem like the case 48 hours to go until the deadline.

That same source said Houston wanted Collins to be included in a deal for Capela so it could have a logical and cheaper replacement that offers the team a lob threat it would be losing. Brooklyn’s Spencer Dinwiddie was mentioned in talks, but it’s unclear how advanced those discussions were. It’s known around the league that the Hawks are still trying to figure out the best player to pair with Trae Young in the backcourt as they figure out if Kevin Huerter or Cam Reddish could grow into that role.

But since that report, two things have happened: the Hawks were big winner in the four-team trade that saw them add Clint Capela and Nene while losing Evan Turner and the Nets lottery-protected first rounder in this year’s Draft.

Also, just before the trade, Sarah K. Spencer, Hawks beat writer on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, threw cold water on any Collins speculation.

Indeed pairing Capela and Collins up front would give Atlanta something they haven’t had this year: rebounding. Also, the two are under 25. Collins, 22, has had an up-and-down year. After being hit with a 25-game suspension for PED use early in the season, he’s averaged 19.4 points, 10.2 rebounds and shot 35.6 percent from deep. However, Collins will have to get paid at the end of next season and the price could be steep.

If Kirschner’s source is correct, it confirms that the Nets are in the trade market for “long-term” solutions, as Adrian Wojnarowski reported. Also, it would suggest that the Nets could be ready to deal Dinwiddie if a solid piece emerged.