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Trading for John Collins would be a very Wizards move

Several rumors have linked the Wizards to Atlanta forward John Collins.

Atlanta Hawks v Washington Wizards
John Collins driving on Kyle Kuzma
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Tommy Sheppard's signature move has been to trade for distressed assets that could potentially turn their career around in Washington. Russell Westbrook, Kristaps Porzingis, Daniel Gafford, and even Davis Bertans were all guys that Sheppard believed he could buy low on.

Kevin Broom has told me several times on the Bleav in Wizards podcast that Sheppard prefers adding players who are under contract and "team-controlled" assets. When you consider that with reports of Kyle Kuzma wanting to play in a bigger market, it could likely mean his time in DC is almost over.

Tommy Sheppard told me after last year's trade deadline that he likes to revisit potential trades again in the offseason. The Wizards were previously linked to Collins which means he was on their radar in some capacity and could be again based on reports from Marc Stein.

Collins is a really good player who is having a down season which makes him a distressed asset. He's signed to a long-term deal which means he would be trapped in Washington committed to the Wizards. And he's a player who would fit a position of need if Kuzma is dealt. Trading for him seems to check a lot of the boxes this front office typically looks for.

Boston Celtics v Atlanta Hawks
John Collins dunks over Luke Kornet
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Since part of their motivation seems to be how they can try to sell their moves to fans, the organization could pat themselves on the back about how Collins would be an ideal third star next to Bradley Beal and Porzingis. Based on all of the above, I totally buy that he's a name the Wizards have at least kicked the tires on.

The on-court fit is a bit more questionable, however. At his best, Collins is a rim-finisher, floor-spacer, weakside shot-blocker, and underrated defender. All of those things would be valuable to the Wizards but they would miss the added playmaking of Kuzma. Collins himself is at his best when someone is creating good looks for him.

If they did swap Kuzma for Collins, hopefully, it would be made with an additional move to add more of a facilitating point guard. Monte Morris has a good assist-to-turnover ratio but he doesn't create a lot of easy looks for his teammates.

Only time will tell what Sheppard actually has up his sleeve. His trades have been the most competent part of his work as General Manager so let's keep our fingers crossed that he can keep it up.