Photo: Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

The Portland Trail Blazers are entering the new season with high expectation in the tough Western Conference. Zach Collins could be an important part of the franchise future, if he remains healthy.

The dynamic center will enter a crucial season, as he will be a free agent next summer. The Blazers are not expected to extend Collins’ contract during the season, per Jason Quick of the Athletic.

As a result, the fourth-year center will become a restricted free agent next offseason. Collins was limited to 11 games last season because of injuries.

He suffered a shoulder injury in the third game of the season and did not return until the restart in Orlando in late July. Later, a stress fracture to his left ankle was occurred to put an end to his return in the season restart.

Now, Collins is expected to miss the start of the 2020/21 season. He is probably going to be ready to play again in mid-to late January for the Blazers.



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