On Thursday night, the Portland Trail Blazers surprised a lot of people by trading the number 15 and number 20 overall picks to Sacramento to select Gonzaga big man Zach Collins. Collins joined Chad and Travis on the Rip City Drive Monday to discuss his future here in the Rose City.
Collins talked about how the Gonzaga staff allowed him to improve over the course of last season.
“I think it was just a credit to the coaching staff to let me know that it’s a long season and all I had to do was just stay in the gym and get better, not only with basketball but with the scouts and being more comfortable going out with the team more – All these little things played into us growing as a team helped me grow as a player.”
Collins also said he’s worked to diversify his game so that he can stretch the floor for the Blazers.
“I never wanted to be a guy that was just in the paint. Obviously when you’re seven-foot, you have a huge advantage, you’re closer to the rim, so you have to be able to finish down there. So that’s obviously a really big part of my game. But stretching the floor is something that I’ve worked on even if I couldn’t show it that much at Gonzaga. All the parts that I think a modern NBA big needs to have, I think I’ve been working on for a long time.”
Collins also talked about his decision to enter the draft after just one season at Gonzaga.
“I just looked at the way the draft has been going lately. There’s been a lot of guys that have gone back to school and their draft position got worse. And I didn’t want to be one of those guys that had an opportunity to chase their dream and go after what they’ve worked for their whole life and not embrace it.”
Take a listen to the great interview with Zach Collins and stay tuned to Rip City Radio 620 for all your updates on the Blazers and the NBA.