NBA Rumors: Arguably John Collins’ best game this year a message to Miami Heat?

John Collins #20 of the Atlanta Hawks dunks against the Miami Heat during the second half(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
John Collins #20 of the Atlanta Hawks dunks against the Miami Heat during the second half(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Miami Heat got a much-needed tough road win on Sunday evening. Facing off against the Atlanta Hawks, one of the new-look teams this year after acquiring Dejounte Murray from San Antonio this past offseason, the Hawks have shown capable of being able to put up points in the bunches this season.

And though that has looked good for their team, for the most part, one of their past feature pieces has seen himself, sort of, phased out or left behind. Heading into Sunday’s matchup with the Miami Heat, Atlanta Hawks big man and athletic dynamo, John Collins, was averaging just about 12 points, seven rebounds, and an assist per game.

His season high, up until that point, was a 24-point showing to open the season, which he immediately followed up with a 23-point showing in Game 2 of his season, and a 19-point showing in Game 4.

The Miami Heat beat Atlanta on Sunday, but did one Hawk ‘win’? John Collins seems to want out and showings like he had then will certainly help his case.

Related Story. 3 ‘Black Friday’ NBA Trade Market Targets For Miami Heat. light

In the 15 games between that one and Sunday’s matchup though, the most he had scored was 16 points in a game, having multiple showings with outputs as low as four points. On Sunday, however, he would have his best and most complete game of the season.

In concert with one another, he would score, rebound, and assist more, simultaneously, than he has at any point this season. He would finish with 23 points, 14 rebounds, and two assists on 11/17 from the floor and 1/4 from deep.

Now, why is all of this important? Well, because of the following trade noise, with this particular excerpt on the topic coming from The Athletic (subscription required).

"The Hawks have opened up preliminary trade discussions around forward John Collins, as interested teams inquire, league sources tell The Athletic. The Suns are a team showing desire in Collins, those sources have added, but they appear uninclined to take on the long-term money of Collins, who is in the second season of a five-year, $125 million contract. The Hawks don’t have an imminent deal in place involving Collins, those sources say, and executives around the league believe a potential deal will be weeks and potentially months in the making ahead of the Feb. 9 trade deadline."

With this noise, Collins’ downturn in performance to open the season, his West Palm Beach, South Florida ties, the Miami Heat’s need to add something, and his choosing to explode this way in this particular matchup—it all begs of a question.

Was this John Collins sending the Miami Heat a message? Was the explosive stretch forward telling the Miami Heat to “come get me”?

Caleb Martin Continues To Expand His Game For Miami Heat. dark. Next

Who knows, but one thing is for sure. This particular performance, among a pedestrian season by his standards, certainly stands out and if you know what you are looking at, certainly perks your antennae up.