Grading Zach Collins’ extension with the Spurs from his perspective.
In 16 starts last season, Collins posted averages of 16.7 points on 39% shooting from 3 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 3.7 assists. That proved he could be more than a good backup and that he should be paid more like a starter.
The going rate for a starting center of his caliber is between $12 million and $15 million, with players such as Steven Adams, Robert Williams, and Jonas Valanciunas making in that range. However, Collins is significantly younger than two of those players and provides more shooting and passing than Williams does.
That might explain him making $17.5 million on average on his two-year extension. That and the fact that by signing an extension now, he’d be giving up hitting free agency when the salary cap is expected to rise by $8 million. From Collins’ perspective, taking the money now is probably for the best. Although he has mostly managed to stay healthy in San Antonio, he missed large chunks of the first four seasons of his career.
Banking $35 million is the safest bet, especially with Texas having no income tax, and he’ll still only be 29 by the time he hits free agency. He could just as easily sign another short-term deal but one that eclipses $20 million annually, which is sure to be the going rate for starting centers by then. Thus, the deal is an A+ for Collins.