That will make Collins an unrestricted free agent next month. The 10th pick in the 2017 draft has only appeared in 11 games the past two seasons due to shoulder, foot and ankle injuries.
Collins learned late last month of a major setback when another fracture was discovered in his left foot. He underwent a second revision surgery to repair a left medial malleolus stress fracture and will require another 4-6 month recovery period.
“Obviously with me being a free agent, it makes it tough,” Collins said. “But I’m less concerned about what type of deal I’m going to get, or how many years it’s going to be, or who I’m going to play for … I’m more focused on this rehab and getting this ankle right.”
Projected to be over the cap, the Blazers couldn’t afford to tie up another chunk of money on a player who will likely miss significant time next season.
Agent Mark Bartelstein is still confident he can land a multi-year contract for his client.
“There’s no question he is going to get a deal; he’s an incredible talent,” Bartelstein said. “NBA teams are looking for guys who can protect the rim, switch everything on defense and make 3s. Zach is really a unicorn.”
Collins is still hopeful of remaining with Portland. Bartelstein will hold discussions with Neil Olshey, the team’s president of basketball operations.
“Neil and I talk all the time and we will do what we always do — sit and talk and see if something makes sense,” Bartelstein said. “But they are in a tough spot. They are up against the luxury tax, and there’s a sense of urgency to win now … so there’s a lot to balance. But I know Neil believes deeply in Zach. They know he is going to be good.”