Lottery odds: 0.8 percent
Draft status: In with an agent
The Charlotte Hornets missed out on the playoffs this season despite finishing with a positive net rating. As such, the front office seemingly has some flexibility to take the best player and that’s Gonzaga’s Zach Collins, a 7-foot tall freshman center who excelled in limited minutes with the Bulldogs.
Collins averaged 10.0 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 17.3 minutes per game this season, but those numbers balloon when adjusted for minutes played. He posted a ridiculous 23.2 points, 13.6 rebounds and 4.1 blocks per 40 minutes while finishing with a 70.3 true shooting percentage. Collins is developing 3-point range and made 10 of his 21 3-point attempts this season. He is a strong pick-and-roll player and has enough post moves to score down low. His biggest offensive limitation is his passing, something he struggles to do out of double teams.
Defensively, Collins is arguably the top rim protector in the class. He has a great understanding of verticality and a willingness to challenge every shot that goes up in his range. Collins is also athletic enough that he can defend smaller players when he gets switched onto them. Those two skills should make him at least a useful player at the NBA level.