Collins has yet to appear in an NBA game since August 15, 2020 due to an injury on his left ankle, which he has undergone surgery at least three times and has rehabilitated since. Now the fifth-year pro has been assigned to the Austin Spurs, the G League affiliate of San Antonio.
Former Portland Trail Blazers lottery-pick Zach Collins nearing NBA return
Collins was drafted tenth overall in the 2017 draft by the Sacramento Kings out of Gonzaga and consequently traded to Portland on draft night. With the Blazers, the big man appeared in 154 games, including twelve as a starter. He averaged 5.7 points and 4.0 rebounds in the seasons he wore a Portland jersey. However, Collins didn’t turn out to be the player the Blazers likely hoped he’d be due to the injuries he has suffered throughout his NBA career.
San Antonio signed Collins to a three-year contract this past offseason, as the Blazers did not tender him a qualifying offer in December 2020 and allowed him to become an unrestricted free agent.
"“He’s going to be a hell of a player, but he needs that time (in the G League)to create habits and get a lot of playing time, get a lot of minutes,” San Antonio Coach Greg Popovich told Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News."
Collins suited for his first professional action with the Austin Spurs this last Monday, January 17, 2022. He tallied eight points and three blocks in 19 minutes against the Rio Grande Vipers. Here’s hoping we’ll see his return to the NBA soon.