4. John Collins, Wake Forest

  • Position: Power Forward
  • Age: 19 (09/23/1997)
  • Height, Weight, Wingspan: 6’10”, 250 pounds, 6’8″
  • 2016-17 Slash Line: .620/.000/.736
  • 2016-17 Averages: 18.9 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 1.6 BPG, 0.6 SPG

John Collins is a beast. He’s in top-five in the ACC in points, rebounds, blocks, and field goal percentage. No player in the country has improved their draft status this season more than the sophomore big man.

Collins is averaging a staggering 28.8 points and 15.0 rebounds per 40 minutes, and he has a PER of 36.0. That’s not a typo; he has a Player Efficiency Rating of thirty-freaking-six! That’s the best mark in the nation.

Collins isn’t just some random dude putting up crazy numbers against mediocre teams either. He dropped 31 against Duke, 27 against Miami, 25 against Louisville, and 24 against Notre Dame.

The 19-year-old has dominated on the pick and roll and been great when finishing at the rim. He may not have a three-point shot, but he’s been impressive with the mid-range game and has some post moves in his repertoire.

One area Collins needs to be smarter is on defense. Last season as a freshman (while averaging 14.4 MPG) he averaged an absurd 7.4 fouls per 40 minutes. He’s gotten much better this year, but he’s still fouling too much. As a sophomore, he’s at 4.6 fouls per 40 minutes.

Collins is arguably the best rebounder in the draft, and the Knicks need all the help they can get on the boards. They certainly can’t depend on Joakim Noah to get healthy, and that means another big man is necessary to fill his shoes. A young and healthy one.

If John Collins played at Duke or North Carolina, everybody would know his name, but he doesn’t. He plays for Wake Forest, and he’s the best player in the country that nobody’s talking about. The Knicks would be lucky if he fell into their lap.

I'm ESNY's Executive Editor for EliteSportsNY.com. I cover the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. Email: chip.murphy@elitesportsny.com Chip Murphy covers the NBA for Elite Sports NY. You can find him on Twitter @ChipperMurphy.