Adrian Wojnarowski: Portland isn’t extending the $7M qualifying offer to Zach Collins, officially making him a free agent, source tells ESPN.
Entering his fourth season in the league, Portland Trail Blazers big man Zach Collins was set to make his return mid-January following surgery on his left ankle.E That first surgery was performed on Sept. 1. But then after a setback, his second ankle surgery which the Blazers called a revision surgery, was scheduled for Dec. 30. Now, just over a month out, Collins says there's no timeline on his return, but he expects the rehab process to take four to six months. That could mean Collins may be back at the very end of the season or ready to go for playoffs.
After spending the first month recovering at his home in Las Vegas, Collins returned to Portland this week to begin the rehab process with the Blazers' medical staff, while still thinking about how he will become a free agent this offseason. His contract situation has weighed on his mind as it would any player who has yet to really prove themself. "We’ll see how everything goes. It’s definitely something you have to think about. It’s your livelihood. So it’s definitely in the back of my mind. A part of me thinks it’s not really something that I can control. The only thing I can control -- is the work I put in and my mindset every day, how I treat people and how I go about this rehab, that’s all I can do and everything else will take care of itself.”
If they do, Collins will become a restricted free agent and the Blazers will have an opportunity to match any deal other teams may offer to Collins. So, there's some uncertainty. "It is what it is. They’ve got to go based on what I’ve done for this team and what I’ve done in the league up to this point, what more work ethic is, what kind of person I am, that’s what I have to hang my hat on."