Portland Trail Blazers big man Zach Collins has been ruled out indefinitely with a stress fracture. Which five big men could they sign to replace him?
Portland Trail Blazers big man Zach Collins has been ruled out of basketball indefinitely with a stress fracture in his foot. Collins has had a torrid run of injuries in the last 12 months, with a dislocated shoulder and multiple foot issues. He has only played a handful of games in the last 18 months because of these issues, and he has now been ruled out of basketball indefinitely.
The Blazers have three traditional big men on the roster, but are a little light at the four where Collins was going to see playing time when he came back from injury. As detailed last week, the Blazers have a few options they could take to replace him. Giles can play the four as well, but there isn’t a huge amount of back up across the two big men positions.
The three big men in Jusuf Nurkic, Enes Kanter, and Harry Giles are also injury risk themselves, so the Blazers could do with some reinforcements at the four / five.
Which five big men could the Blazers sign to replace Collins?
Trail Blazers replacement for Zach Collins – Dragan Bender
Former lottery pick big man Dragan Bender has found himself out of the NBA after spending four years in the league on different teams.
Bender is a 23-year-old power forward from Croatia who stands seven-foot-tall and has a seven-foot-one wingspan.
Bender seemed to be a sure thing as a prototypical big man before the 2016 NBA Draft. Unfortunately, the Phoenix Suns were at the height of their dysfunction, and selected Bender with the number four pick to go with the trove of lottery picks that didn’t pan out down the road.
Though Bender isn’t a great defender, he has some potential as a backup big who can shoot it. He could be an end of bench guy that may thrive in the Blazers development system.
Bender is a great passer for his size, and he has nice shooting form. If he could pot away from three as a backup up big and make some plays on the short roll, maybe he has a place in the NBA.
Bender is a minimum option at this point in his NBA career.