Expendable: Zach Collins
Collins is having his best season as he sets new career highs in points, assists, steals, 3-pointers made, and minutes per game. He is starting next to Victor Wembanyama in the frontcourt and showcasing the potential that made him a top-ten draft pick back in 2017.
Collins has his warts. He is committing too many turnovers and personal fouls. His 3-point shooting remains inconsistent and the big man is not a strong rim protector. The Spurs wanted someone to play the five next to their 19-year-old rookie, but fans should expect that to change.
Wemby’s biggest advantages occur when he is at the five. It forces teams to put a much smaller player on him or drag their big man out to check him on the perimeter. He is an elite shot-blocker and will get more opportunities playing center.
If Victor Wembanyama is getting 30-plus minutes every night at the five, there is just no room for Zach Collins. They do not want him playing 18 minutes per game when he is making $17 million each year.
The Spurs just worked out a two-year extension, but Zach Collins is expendable. The Thunder are playing Chet Holmgren at the five to significant success, and San Antonio must follow suit with Wemby. It is better to do it now than make the talented teenager wait.