The Portland Trail Blazers selected Gonzaga freshman Zach Collins with the No. 10 pick in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft. With that, Collins is now officially the first one and done in school history.
Portland moved up the draft to make the pick on draft night, reported just a few minutes before their pick.
Sacramento is trading the No. 10 pick to Portland for Nos. 15 and 20 in draft, league sources tell @TheVertical.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 23, 2017
Despite being the the first man off the bench, Collins put up some ridiculous stats in a very limited amount of time. His averages look a bit pedestrian: 10 points per game, and 5.9 rebounds per game. That was all just in 17.3 minutes per game, however.
Stretch that out over forty minutes, and it is easy to see why Collins was taken so high. His per 40 minute averages are 23.2. points, 13.6 rebounds, and 4.1 blocks, all the while shooting 65.2 percent from the floor, 47.6 percent from three, and 74.3 percent from the free throw line. On paper, Collins is better than half the big men in the NBA already.
Everyone in the greater Spokane region new Collins was good, but it took quite some time for the rest of the nation to catch on. Collins demonstrated his versatility in the NCAA Tournament, and cemented his status as an elite big man with his performance in the Final Four against South Carolina.
Collins was a one man wrecking crew in that contest, finishing with 14 points, 13 rebounds, and six blocks in just 23 minutes. Hopefully, people will remember him for that, and not for the block heard around the world.
Portland is getting one of the best defensive big men in the year’s draft, but also a slight project. Collins, like a lot of freshmen in college basketball, limited himself with foul trouble some times, and it will be another adjustment to adapt to the faster pace in the NBA. His defensive instincts are as sound as they come, and his offensive efficiency is good to go. Given the fact that he can run the floor with the best of them, and shoot the three with the best of them (the big men at least), he is going to make a significant impact in the NBA.
Congratulations Zach. It was a joy watching you for a year, and it will be a joy to watch you on the next level.