San Antonio Spurs fans can breathe a sigh of relief as Zach Collins, their starting center, is set to remain a pivotal part of the team’s roster. The former Gonzaga standout has put pen to paper on a lucrative two-year extension, with a deal valued at an impressive $35 million.
This comes after a turbulent period in Collins’ career, marked by injury-plagued seasons during his tenure with the Portland Trail Blazers, casting doubt on his future in the league. However, this new deal represents a significant turnaround, firmly reestablishing Collins' presence in the NBA landscape.
At just 25 years of age, Collins is poised to create an imposing frontcourt duo alongside the French basketball sensation, Victor Wembanyama, under the expert guidance of Coach Gregg Popovich. The twin-tower setup is generating considerable buzz, particularly in light of concerns regarding Wemby’s ability to hold his own at center against towering figures like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid.
Fans speculated that a robust protector on the court would be indispensable, and Collins’ extension has materialized that desire, stirring an outpour of reactions across social media platforms. While Zach Collins may not have the star-studded allure of other players in the market, the Spurs’ decision to invest in him has not gone unnoticed.
Despite ample cap space and speculation of a big free agency splash, the Spurs are betting on Collins as the ideal complement to their future star. His performance in the 2022-23 season, averaging 11.6 points and 6.4 rebounds over 22.9 minutes per game, underscores the Spurs’ faith in his abilities.
Valuation Sparks Debate
However, this move has sparked a wave of discussions beyond the Spurs’ fanbase and connections to Wembanyama. The substantial financial commitment to Collins at this juncture of his career has led to varying opinions, with some fans expressing skepticism about the deal's valuation.
The Spurs’ valuation of Collins has inevitably drawn comparisons to other big men in the league, such as Myles Turner and Nic Claxton. Collins, known for his rim protection and offensive prowess, is undeniably a valuable asset in today's NBA.
However, the question of his durability and consistency has come to the fore, especially when compared to more established and reliable players like Claxton and Turner. With Claxton earning approximately $8.65 million annually and Turner at $20 million, Collins’ $17.5 million annual paycheck has raised eyebrows, sparking heated debates and comparisons across social media channels.