There were numerous question marks surrounding Zach Collins and his long-term future with the San Antonio Spurs after the franchise landed Victor Wembanyama with the number one overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft this offseason. Despite the arrival of the generational Frenchman, it seems like Gregg Popovich will start the sharpshooting seven-footers together in a tall-ball lineup as the coaching staff takes a more modern approach to their schemes on both ends.
Collins and Wembanyama showed tangible chemistry while sharing the court for a handful of minutes in the preseason opener, posing matchup problems for the Oklahoma City Thunder with their unusual combination of size, shooting, and skill. While the mountainous frontcourt tandem has yet to put forth an encore to their extraordinary debut performance, Collins discussed their potential to form a fruitful partnership following his latest exhibition action on Monday night.
Can Collins and Wembanyama become a dynamic duo?
Though Spurs fans have only seen a small sample of Collins and Wembanyama, they already have the makings of a perfect pair. The former can handle all the physical punishment from covering traditional centers inside the paint, which allows the latter to drift as a help defender, rotate for weakside blocks, and leave opponents squirming with his eight-foot wingspan. He can also stretch the floor and create open looks for his skyscraping teammate as a screener or passer.
A devastating stress fracture in his left ankle and countless complications with the ensuing surgical procedures placed tremendous obstacles in front of Collins on his road to recovery. But the 25-year-old big man has overcome every setback over the last three years and found a home in San Antonio. He has become their enforcer, high-post facilitator, and stretch-five, and the Spurs will lean on him to ensure a smooth rookie transition for Wembanyama this season.