So much for the possibility of Dwayne Collins developing under the watchful eye of the Phoenix Suns’ basketball staff.
I wrote yesterday that I hoped the Suns would sign the No. 60 overall pick in June’s draft because of the “ridiculous upside” that comes along with his supreme athleticism, but this really is the next best thing. He wasn’t going to get a chance with the Suns regardless this year, so it’s beneficial for all parties for him to improve in Europe while the Suns still hold his rights.
If Collins develops his offensive game in Italy, he could come back to Phoenix in a year or two and become an asset off the bench. In essence he now becomes just like all the other draft-and-stash big men that teams seemed to be grabbing at the end of the second round.
My only hope would be that in the future the D-League could become more of a minor league feeder system so that an American prospect like Collins who needs more seasoning (and really Scottie Reynolds, too) would find it more beneficial to play in the D-League than overseas.
I know that especially in Reynolds’ case the finances are such that playing overseas is a much better career move, but all things being equal it would have been nice to see Collins spend the season in Iowa under a coaching staff in constant communication with the Suns.
Perhaps Collins will develop just fine in Italy nonetheless and become a solid member of the Suns’ bench in a few years.