This time last year, Danny Ainge was shaping up to be the New York Knicks’ fanbase’s No. 1 villain. The Knicks-Donovan Mitchell trade rumors lasted for a couple of months before the Cavaliers swooped in and met Ainge’s demands for the star guard.
New York fans don’t have to worry about doing business with Ainge this offseason, which is good news. Instead, fans can now sit back and watch the executive successfully fleece other teams, specifically the Hawks.
On Monday afternoon, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Atlanta traded John Collins to Utah for Rudy Gay and a second-round pick. After years of speculation about the Hawks trading Collins, they finally did it, but for a disappointing return.
Knicks fans can enjoy Danny Ainge fleecing Hawks in long-awaited John Collins trade
John Collins trade rumors have been floating around for what feels like 10 years now, except it’s been more like three years. The 25-year-old was drafted by the Hawks in 2017 and his name has been consistently popping up in trade talks. At long last, he’s on the way to the Jazz.
Atlanta was able to open up a $25.3 million trade exception by dumping Collins’ contract, but it was for a measly return. Once upon a time, the Hawks were demanding a first-round pick in return for Collins, which is part of the reason why he remained in Atlanta for as long as he did. The Hawks watched his trade value take a significant dip, so much so that none other than Danny Ainge was able to capitalize on Atlanta’s incompetence.
Wojnarowski reported that the Hawks and Jazz have been in talks for a year about a Collins deal. It took that long for something to come to fruition, and it isn’t surprising at all that Ainge and Utah won the trade. Look at what Ainge got in return for Rudy Gobert last summer. That trade doesn’t pale in comparison to what Atlanta got for Collins.
The Hawks just got Danny Ainge’d. For Knicks fans, it couldn’t have happened to a better team.