John Collins: Power Forward/Center – Wake Forest – turns 20 in September
Measurables: 6-10, 235 lbs., 6-11 wingspan
Strengths: Explosiveness, Work Ethic, Offensive Rebounding
Weaknesses: Defense, Passing
Conclusion: John is an old-school power forward with small-ball center athleticism and explosiveness – coached up by former All-Star forward Danny Manning at Wake Forest. Collins was probably the most improved player in the nation this season, but his issues at the next level are clear. John likely lacks the size, strength, and length to protect the rim as a center. Meanwhile, the only hint of hope that he will shoot well enough to man the stretch forward position is his 74.5 percent mark at the free-throw line this year as a sophomore (0-for-1 from three in his college career). As a 4, Collins might need to be surrounded by shooters at every other position. His best fit could be in lineups featuring a center with deep range – that’s if he can also prove rather capable of sliding his feet along the perimeter. This would allow Collins to crash the offensive glass and focus his attention on the mid-range and in. Given the strides he has made on both ends of the floor, it’s possible Collins is only scratching the surface of his potential. Nevertheless, I’m not completely sold on him as a first-round pick, much less a lottery selection. Regardless of where he winds up, his NBA career will certainly be one to follow, as Collins seemingly came out of nowhere – a low-end recruit who blossomed because of hard work. What will he be five years from now? Nobody knows. And I think that might be his biggest draw right now.
Projection: No. 12 overall in Ilia Shatashvili’s most recent mock draft