Why Zach Collins Became a Lottery Pick After Averaging Just 10 Points Per Game at Gonzaga

Collins has a rare set of skills that make him a perfect match for the modern NBA. Learn how the Portland Trailblazers rookie center developed his unique game.

When you first glance at Zach Collins' numbers from his lone season at Gonzaga, you might be a bit confused as to why he went 10th overall in the 2017 NBA Draft.

He only averaged 10.0 points and 5.9 rebounds per game—not shabby, but is that really the type of production you'd expect from a lottery pick? Let alone in a draft some experts considered to be historically deep?

Then, you'll look a little closer. You see Collins shot a sterling 65.2% from the field, including 47.6% from deep. You notice he averaged 1.8 blocks per game. You realize he managed to put up those stats while playing just 17.3 minutes per game. And finally, you spot the one fact that ties it all together—the 19-year-old Collins measures in at 7 feet tall.

Welcome to the modern NBA. Traditional centers—plodding giants who can only be effective around the rim—are extinct. Evolution has replaced them with players who're just as towering but twice as athletic. Think Anthony Davis—a colossus capable of scoring from anywhere on the floor who's also coordinated enough to stand his ground in just about any defensive situation. Davis has obviously proven himself as one of the NBA's most valuable players, but Collins does share similar skills.

Given his age and the fact he played just one season of college basketball, Collins' growth potential is extraordinary. "I don't think I ever thought I'd be in this position, this quickly," Collins told NBA.com in June. Learn more about Collins and what he plans to bring to the NBA by watching the video in the player above.

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