In advance of the 2017 NBA Draft, the Atlanta Hawks have been repeatedly linked to Wake Forest power forward John Collins when it comes to first-round possibilities. Admittedly, it is (way) too early to start pinning down specifics given that the draft order isn’t set but another player with the same last name has now popped up on the radar for Atlanta.
Ricky O’Donnell of SB Nation released a new mock draft earlier this week and, with the No. 19 overall pick, he projects the Hawks to select Gonzaga big man Zach Collins.
The McDonald’s All-American has quietly been one of the best players on a top-seeded Gonzaga team over the last two months. He could see his stock soar if the Zags make a Final Four run.
Collins, who is a legitimate 7-footer, serves as the sixth man for the top-seeded Bulldogs and he has been wildly productive during his freshman campaign. Collins put together a PER north of 30 with a true shooting percentage above 70 percent this season, though it should be noted that he has averaged only 17.3 minutes per game to this point.
As a result of his limited deployment, Collins is a very divisive prospect. For now, he looks like a skilled big man with the ability to shoot and score efficiently while rebounding well and providing some rim protection. On the flip side, we haven’t seen quite enough of Collins to make sweeping on-court judgments at this stage and scouts would almost certainly benefit from seeing more of him in a situation that taxes him to a higher degree.
As for the Hawks, this is another name to consider in the coming weeks and months and Gonzaga will be in action this weekend. Take a look and see what you think. Stay tuned.