The 24-year-old power forward/center has been sidelined from NBA action since the league's bubble restart in 2020 and is finally on the verge of making a much-anticipated return. For San Antonio, it's coming at the right time as they continue to look for answers in their frontcourt.
Veteran power forward Thaddeus Young is likely on the way out of San Antonio via trade or buyout soon while Drew Eubanks has largely played himself out of the rotation. Jock Landale, while showing impressive shooting and passing on offense, doesn't offer near the resistance Jakob Poeltl does defensively, and the Spurs' rebounding and paint defense takes a hit as a result.
The debut of Collins should help the Spurs with multiple weaknesses, even if the results don't show right away as he gets re-acclimated to the pace of the NBA. Beyond that, though, San Antonio is quickly going to fall in love with how much of a "take-no-nonsense" attitude Zach will bring to the court.
Zach Collins will be the Spurs' much-needed enforcer
He's played the equivalent of less than two season's worth of games, but Zach Collins has already built a reputation as someone not afraid of being at the center of scuffles. Even if he's not directly involved, he's come to the aid of teammates even against an imposing figure like 6-11, 284-pound Nikola Jokic.
If you can even remotely lip-read, you know Collins meant business in defending Meyers Leonard here.
Collins also hasn't backed down from his own skirmishes, having some choice words for Klay Thompson during a February 2019 matchup against the Golden State Warriors.
While Gregg Popovich might have some say in toning Collins down a bit, I wouldn't expect him to change that much on the court -- and I think that would quickly make him another fan favorite.
Zach has already been attending numerous community events before even setting foot on the court, so we all know he's a world-class guy off it. On the court, seeing him serve as an enforcer in San Antonio will fill a role the Spurs haven't really had since David West in 2016.
If things go as expected, the Spurs should have a legitimate frontcourt option for the foreseeable future on a cheap deal. He also just might put some people in their places along the way.