Zach Collins
Center (Rank: #9) | 7-0, 233
Gonzaga
Draft Board: Round 1 | Round 2
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Draft Projection: Top 10 Pick

Positives: Insider Only

Negatives: Insider Only

Summary: May 23 update: Collins' combination of size, athleticism and skill set is super intriguing for NBA teams -- many of which are now projecting him as more of a stretch-4 than a center.

His biggest obstacle is the teams drafting in the top 10 in this draft. Almost all of them are after guards or wings.

May 8 update: Collins continues to quietly move his way up boards as more and more scouts watch video and come away impressed. I've actually yet to find a scout who doesn't think he's a top-10 pick. His limited role at Gonzaga (combined with a lack of hype coming into the draft) does appear to keep his stock a little lower.

Collins will participate in the combine, but is expected to do only interviews, athletic testing and the physical.

April 12 update: Collins quietly put together one of the best freshman seasons in college basketball. That he did it coming off the bench at Gonzaga kept him under the radar for a while, but by mid-February, scouts began to fall in love with him as a potential lottery pick.

His strong play in the NCAA tournament didn't raise his draft stock a lot -- he was ranked No. 13 before the tournament and No. 12 after it on our Big Board -- but it did solidify his placement.

April 11 update: Collins has declared for the 2017 NBA Draft. Collins quietly put together one of the best freshman seasons in college basketball. The fact that he did it coming off the bench at Gonzaga kept him under the radar for a while, but by mid-February scouts began to fall in love with him as a potential lottery pick. His strong play in the NCAA tournament didn't really raise his draft stock -- he was ranked No. 13 before the tournament and No. 12 after it on our Big Board -- but did solidify his placement. He should go somewhere between Nos. 10-15.

April 4 update: Collins proved he's worthy of a lottery pick with a dominant 14-point, 13-rebound, six-block performance coming off the bench for the Zags in the Final Four versus South Carolina. He added another nine points, seven rebounds and three blocks in the title game vs. UNC, but played limited minutes because of foul trouble.

And scouts look beyond the stat sheet -- though the advanced analytics are very bullish on him -- at what he did almost every time he stepped onto the court. He played above the rim, was bouncy and energetic, stretched the floor and competed with toughness.

Plus, he's used to playing with a more traditional center. In Detroit, he could make a very interesting pairing next to Andre Drummond.

March 27 update: Collins had an unusually quite game versus West Virginia, scoring just one point and grabbing four boards. He perked up a bit versus Xavier on Saturday with six points, six boards and a block in 13 minutes of play.

Scouts aren't expecting him to dominate coming off the bench for Gonzaga. It's the upside -- size, athleticism, offensive and defensive versatility -- that are appealing. He remains a likely late lottery pick with still another game or two to go this season.

March 23 update: Collins continued his sneaky-good season for Gonzaga in the first two rounds, including recording seven blocks while averaging just 21 minutes per game. He's one of the hottest players in the draft right now and looks like a lock for the lottery. West Virginia's toughness and athleticism will provide a unique test for Gonzaga and Collins.

March 20 update: Collins is really having a coming-out party in the tournament. He has averaged 3.5 blocks per game in 21 minutes and was a real impact player in the second half of Gonzaga's game against Northwestern. He is a terrific draft prospect. He's athletic, a good rebounder and shot-blocker and can score in the paint and facing the basket.

He needs to add strength, but all the physical tools and skills are there. He was ranked No. 14 on our board coming into the tournament. He moves up to No. 12 in our Monday update and you could make the argument he should even be ranked higher.

March 14 update: Collins comes off the bench for Gonzaga, but in those 17 MPG he has been shockingly efficient for a rookie. He is a good athlete who can score both inside and out and also block shots. If he played a bigger role on a more high profile team, we'd be talking about him as a lock for the top 10.

He's also an analytics darling. He ranks No. 2 on Kevin Pelton's stats-only Big Board.

March 6 update: Collins continues to climb up the Big Board as we get closer to the draft. While he still plays a role off the bench and doesn't get the minutes a player of his caliber probably deserves, what he does do with those minutes has really been extraordinary.

He's efficient from everywhere on the floor. He can score at the basket thanks to explosive athleticism, and he's comfortable operating out of the high post and knocking down jumpers on the pick-and-pop. He's even shooting 44 percent from 3, though he doesn't take them very often.

He needs to get stronger, but the buzz about Collins keeps getting louder and louder.

Feb. 1 update: Collins has been moving up boards around the league thanks to a strong freshman season coming off the bench for the Zags.

He fits the definition of a model NBA 5. He's big and versatile, and he plays on the perimeter and finishes above the rim. He's also a good athlete who can guard both 4s and 5s.

He needs to add strength, but teams love his upside.

Jan 18 update: Collins is the dark horse. Scouts weren?t expecting much from him as a freshman, but he?s had a significant impact on the team and he can really do it all on both ends of the floor. He?s been rising of late and could end up making a leap over all the other guys in Tier 5. He was the other guy on this list to get a few Tier 4 votes.

 

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