Jazz Offer John Collins ‘Refreshing’ New Environment

Oct 2, 2023, 1:41 PM | Updated: Oct 3, 2023, 1:12 pm


SALT LAKE CITY – Though he’s yet to officially take the floor with his new teammates, John Collins said he was excited for a fresh opportunity with the Utah Jazz.

Acquired by the organization in late June, Collins was the team’s most significant veteran acquisition over the summer.

And while the Jazz will be looking to the seventh-year veteran to bolster their frontcourt, Collins is excited about the opportunity to revitalize his career.

“It’s refreshing,” Collins admitted. “In some ways, I feel like a rookie again — getting to meet new staff, new teammates, a new environment. It’s just the process of setting up where to live and just getting myself together in a new city.”

Collins Has New Team In Old Home

While he’ll be suiting up somewhere other than Atlanta for the first time in his NBA career, Utah isn’t completely foreign to Collins.

The bouncy forward was born in Layton, Utah, but as the son of military parents, Collins didn’t spend much time in the state.

“Being born here and now being able to, in a way, come back home and play for the Jazz, put the Jazz jersey on my chest, it’s special,” Collins said.

The Jazz now hope that familiarity can translate onto the floor in an effort to get Collins back to a point where he can play his best basketball.

After averaging 21 points and 10 rebounds during the 2019-20 NBA season, Collins had seen a steady decrease in his production, largely coinciding with the arrival of center Clint Capela in Atlanta.

Like Collins, Capela got most of his touches in the pick and roll, which cut into the easy scoring opportunities for the forward with the Hawks.

Despite signing a five-year, $125 million deal with the Hawks in 2021, Collins has been one of the most popular names in trade rumors over the last several summers.

Having finally found a new landing spot in Utah, Collins said he was excited to redefine his role playing alongside Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler.

“Walker being so tall being so skilled and obviously being an elite shot blocker already, and Lauri, I mean, we’ve seen what he’s done,” Collins acknowledged. “[He’s a] proven All-Star, he can get a bucket, he can create, and be a focal point in this league.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by KSL Sports (@kslsports)

Collins Looking Forward To New Jazz Frontcourt

Though the Jazz won’t play their first preseason game until Sunday when they face the Los Angeles Clippers in Hawaii, Collins is likely to start alongside Markkanen and Kessler in the role previously filled by Kelly Olynyk.

Where Olynyk excelled as a floor spacer and ball-mover in Will Hardy’s offense, the second-year head coach will have to find a way to keep Collins engaged offensively without taking shots away from his two most efficient returning starters.

“I have to be flexible in what I am willing to do or try with them in order to make that three-person group of Lauri, John, and Walker work to the best of their abilities,” Hardy said on Friday. “I can’t center it around John, and I also can’t just center it around those two and just say ‘John, figure it out as you go.’”

Related: Will Hardy Discusses John Collins Role With Jazz

Collins could make Hardy’s job much easier if he can knock down threes at the 37 percent rate he had over his first five years in the NBA.

If he shoots at just 29 percent, the career-low number he converted at last year, those frontcourt pairings might be more difficult to solve.

“When your roll changes from not shooting as many threes to adjusting to shooting a lot more threes, there’s an adjustment period for that,” Collins explained.

“I went back into the lab and worked on my game and trying my best to be as effective as I can, but I’m definitely going to shoot the hell out of the ball.”

The Jazz will face the Los Angeles Clippers Sunday at 7 pm MST in Hawaii. The game will be televised on KJZZ, streamed on Jazz+, and can be heard on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

  • Utah Jazz Scoreboard

  • Utah Jazz Team Leaders

  • Utah Jazz Standings

Utah Jazz

Utah Jazz center Walker Kessler (24) jumps to block a shot attempt by Phoenix Suns forward Torrey C...

Chandler Holt

Walker Kessler Sends Clippers Packing With Multiple First-Half Blocks

In his first start since returning from injury, Walker Kessler showed off his defensive impact with two first-half blocks.

35 minutes ago

Keyonte George Utah Jazz...

Chandler Holt

Keyonte George Opens Game Against LA Clippers With Four-Point Play

Jazz rookie Keyonte George set the tone for Utah against the Clippers with a four-point play over Los Angeles' Paul George.

1 hour ago

Vivint Arena signage comes down as the building prepares to rebrand as the Delta Center....

Ben Anderson

Would Fans Support Jazz Move Out Of Downtown?

Would fans still support the Utah Jazz if they were to move their home arena away from downtown Salt Lake City?

7 hours ago

Jordan Clarkson - Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Clippers...

Ben Anderson

Jazz Update Injury Report Before Hosting Clippers

The Utah Jazz will have fewer names on their injury report when they host the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night.

9 hours ago


Kyle Ireland

‘I Was Hyped’: Donovan Mitchell Recounts Reaction To Jazz-Cavaliers Trade

Donovan Mitchell recently spoke about some experiences he had during his time with the Jazz and the trade that sent him to the Cavaliers.

9 hours ago

Utah Jazz Memphis Grizzlies Lauri Markkanen...

Ben Anderson

Utah Jazz Mailbag: What’s The Latest With Lauri Markkanen?

Welcome to the Utah Jazz mailbag where we answer your most pressing NBA questions: This week, what's the latest on Lauri Markkanen?

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.


KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.

Jazz Offer John Collins ‘Refreshing’ New Environment