Zach Collins is one of the most gifted prospects attending the NBA Draft Combine and he’s reportedly gaining a lot of fans.
Many top prospects are skipping the NBA Draft Combine, but not Zach Collins. The seven-footer from Gonzaga is coming off a fine freshman season, where he made a strong impact in limited playing time. Before speculation could really begin as to whether he’d even test the NBA waters, Collins signed with an agent.
And you can’t really blame him. He was so dominant in so few minutes and the center class this year is pedestrian. Collins could have been the face of Gonzaga next season, but he must have gotten some word on his draft stock.
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Collins shined bright in March Madness, carrying the Zags for large stretches. Gonzaga does not beat South Carolina in the Final Four without his 14 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks. After dominant performances in the NCAA Tournament, he established himself in the lottery conversation. Now it looks like the lottery might just be his floor.
The biggest riser I’m hearing already on draft boards? Gonzaga’s Zach Collins. NBA scouts love him. Played minimal minutes all season.
In a class deep at point guard and with plenty of guys who can potentially switch between the 3 and the 4, there aren’t exactly any centers to offer Collins legitimate competition. If Jon Rothstein is right in what he’s hearing, it could be a huge week for Collins in Chicago.
What Collins has to offer
It’s unclear how much teams will see of him at the combine, as top prospects usually don’t participate in every facet of the event. For example, he wasn’t asked to play 5-on-5. Instead, Collins could stick to drills and measurements that he and his agent believe will play to his strengths.
With his stock rising, attending the combine is a smart move by Collins. What he offers teams is the potential to be a really solid two-way center. His ability to protect the rim stands out especially.
Watch how he knows exactly when to leave his man and still be able to go straight up — with both hands, no less.
Two-way play is likely a big reason he’s rising up team’s draft boards. Other top prospects, like Lauri Markkanen, Dennis Smith Jr. and Malik Monk, don’t offer upside on both sides of the ball. If Collins can showcase his strength, motor, post moves and shooting touch, he’ll give lottery teams a lot to think about over the next month or so.
Most of those attributes will probably be withheld until individual workouts, but the combine still presents a massive opportunity for Collins to improve his stock. Not only can he showcase his physical tools but he can show off his personality and demeanor. A good week in Chicago would only benefit him.