Zach Collins is extension eligible before the 2021 season. Though its 7 months away, how would an extension look for him and the Portland Trail Blazers?
Zach Collins may not play at all for the Portland Trail Blazers this year, but this doesn’t stop him being eligible for a rookie extension prior to the start of the 2021 season. HIs injury situation isn’t ideal in terms of negotiating a new contract, but Collins is a big part of this team’s future so locking him down longterm should be a priority.
The NBA’s CBA rules dictate that an extension must be reached prior to the first game of the player’s fourth year if they are a first round pick. If an extension agreement isn’t reached by that time then the player hits restricted free agency on July the 1st after their fourth year.
Restricted free agency means that other teams can put forward offer sheets for his services, and the team that holds the players restricted rights ( the Blazers in this case ) have 48 hour to match these offers.
There haven’t been a lot of stretch fours / defensive bigs like Collins get extensions recently. Some, like the Chicago Bulls Lauri Markkanen, were in the same rookie class as Collins so they may set the market for him.
It was a real shame that Collins was injured in the first week of the season and wasn’t able to realise the hard work he put in over the offseason on both ends of the floor. The reality is that he has only played two years and hasn’t been able to show that he is a quality starter yet. He will be a good starter in the distant future but as of right now he may not be able to negotiate a contract based on this.
His contract will probably be based on potential as a starter, as prior to the three games he started before injury ruined this season, he had started just the one game in the first two years of his career.
Because of his injury, Blazers management may give him a whole extra year to prove himself before paying him. This is a touch risky, as if he blows up then another team can give him a massive offer, but it’s tough to tell what his market is anyway.
If he comes back at the end of the season for a potential playoff run and then the last month of the year, then an offer between 7 and 12 million a year over four years looks likely. Some fans may think this is excessive, but bigs that can shoot and defend don’t exactly grow on trees.
Then there is also the option that the Blazers give him a whole extra year as starter, waiting to see what other teams come up with in the way of offers. If he blows up to the tune of 20 and 10 then maybe his market becomes 12 – 18 million a year. Collins could be worth this amount in the future, but that kind of statistical productionn straight away is an unlikely increase from where he is currently.
It would make sense for both team and player if they could agree on a four-year forty million dollar deal. Agents these days sometimes push a lot harder, but we hope that Collins and the Blazers can come to an agreement. Ideally this would be at the end of this year to avoid Collins reaching restricted free agency.
Collins will be an integral part of this team moving forward. He will form a large part of the defensive identity while hopefully being a strong contributor on offense too. We want the Blazers to lock him down to a deal as soon as possible to ensure roster continuity, in the meantime we hope he gets back in March to show his true value on the court.