Speaking on "The Bill Simmons Podcast," ESPN's Jackie MacMullan said that the Minnesota Timberwolves are "dying" to trade for Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins.
"Minnesota is dying to have [Collins,]" MacMullan said. "Minnesota wants him bad. What will they offer? I don't know. They really want him. I think there are other teams too, but Minnesota particularly."
The Athletic's Shams Charania said the Timberwolves were looking around the league for power forwards ahead of the NBA's trade deadline. While he also mentioned Orlando's Aaron Gordon, it appears Collins has become the top target in their search.
The Athletic's Sam Amick reported that Atlanta is listening to offers for Collins after he turned down an extension worth $90 million last offseason. KSTP's Darren Wolfson also reported on his podcast that Collins' camp views playing next to Karl-Anthony Towns as "favorable."
"He’d have the chance to play with a dynamic big man like KAT," Wolfson said. "Somebody with KAT’s skillset, that’s very enticing for Collins.”
The 23-year-old is averaging 17.8 points and 7.6 rebounds per game for the Hawks this season but Atlanta's asking price is high. Per Charania, the Hawks are looking for a "high, first-round, lottery-level pick" in return for Collins.
This could be an issue as the Timberwolves' 2021 first-round pick could belong to the Golden State Warriors. As part of the D'Angelo Russell trade if it doesn't land in the top-3 of the NBA Draft Lottery, leaving the Timberwolves without a critical piece to make a deal.
Collins also has an unsettled contract situation as he will enter restricted free agency next offseason. The Timberwolves could sign him to an offer sheet next summer, but the Hawks would have the right to match that offer and trade him to a team with a better proposal.
This could put the Timberwolves in a situation to get something done before the Mar. 26 deadline.