Another power-forward proposed as Phoenix Suns trade target

Phoenix Suns, John Collins (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, John Collins (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Kevin Durant’s recommital to the Brooklyn Nets last week subsequently led to a report that the Phoenix Suns were after a power-forward. Since then, a number of names have been thrown up as potential solutions.

This has involved Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis, the New York Knicks Julius Randle, and options at the Washington Wizards including Kyle Kuzma.

The Phoenix Suns desire for a power-forward now includes a proposed trade with the Atlanta Hawks for young big man John Collins.

Bleacher Report’s Greg Schwartz believes the Suns should be eyeing Collins in a deal that could be of benefit for both teams. He proposes that Phoenix acquire Collins for Cameron Johnson, Jae Crowder, Landry Shamet and a second-round pick.

"“As good as the Suns still are, upgrading the starting power forward position from Jae Crowder would make this the best starting five in basketball, especially adding a talent like Collins to a core of Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges and Deandre Ayton”.“The Hawks say yes so they can continue to add defensive pieces around Trae Young, with Crowder giving them another versatile forward who can guard multiple spots and hit open threes”."

Collins would be an interesting piece to the Suns, particularly offensively. He’d come from a pick-and-roll partnership with Trae Young, meaning he’d into the Phoenix system fairly smoothly. The only worry would be whether having he and Deandre Ayton as pick-and-roll threats is actually counter-productive, and would ultimately limit the offensive potential of both players.

John Collins and Jae Crowder, Phoenix Suns. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
John Collins and Jae Crowder, Phoenix Suns. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

As well as being a lob threat, Collins would also bring the similar shooting threat to both Crowder and Johnson. The 24-year-old shot 36.4% from three-point range last season on 3.3 attempts per game. Another big advantage would be the rebounding aspect as Collins delivers a far greater presence on the boards than Crowder or Johnson.

The big question mark is the defensive end of the floor, with Collins never renowned as any kind of plus defender. It’s why many believe he’s best played as a center where he can be better utilized as a shot blocker with less portion of time on the perimeter. This obviously can’t happen with Ayton there, but Monty Williams would likely split their minutes a little so Collins could have periods at center.

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Is Collins that much of an upgrade from Johnson as a power-forward? Probably not when you factor in giving up Crowder, Shamet and a pick as well. Phoenix are in the market to make a trade over the next six months, but it needs to be a major, difference-making move if they’re to disrupt the current roster like this.