The promising Atlanta Hawks are going through some growing pains.
“John Collins, the fourth-year big man who just weeks before bet on himself in a big way during his failed extension talks with the Hawks, shared his unfiltered and unhappy views about the way franchise centerpiece Trae Young was running the offense,” Kirschner and Amick wrote. “According to three sources who were either in the session or had knowledge of what was said, Collins raised several issues about the way these Hawks were functioning with Young at the helm.
“Collins talked about the need to get into offensive sets more quickly and to limit all those early shot-clock attempts that leave his teammates on the outside looking in. He shared his desire to be more involved and expressed a desire for more ball involvement and flow on offense.
“There was no back-and-forth between the two, but the pointed criticism caught the attention of the room. And Young, sources say, made it clear to others later that he strongly disagreed with Collins’ assessment.
“‘Trae is my brother regardless,’ Collins, who chose not to elaborate further, told The Athletic via text message when he was asked about the situation.”
Of course, Young and Collins are two of the Hawks’ cornerstone pieces.
Young, 22, is the head of the Hawks’ rebuild. He averaged a career-high 29.6 points, 9.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game last season.
However, his numbers have dipped a bit through eight games this season. Young is collecting 25.9 points, 8.4 assists and 4.3 boards per contest.
On the bright side, the Hawks are looking like playoff contenders after finishing with the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference last year.
As for Collins, he is putting up 17.9 points and 7.5 rebounds per game this season. The Hawks hold a 4-4 record.