Jeff Goodman of ESPN first reported the news Wednesday but noted Collins will not sign an agent. This means he can still return to school if he withdraws by the May 24 deadline.
Collins released a statement regarding his decision, via Bret Strelow of Winston-Salem Journal:
After a lot of thought, I have decided to declare for the NBA Draft, but not hire an agent. This allows me the opportunity to be evaluated by teams over the next few weeks and gather information from them. I want to make an informed decision about what is best for my future, whether that is turning pro at this time or returning to Wake Forest for my junior season.
After being a part-time player as a freshman, Collins took on an expanded role for Wake Forest in 2016-17. He didn't waste his opportunity, leading the team with 19.2 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.
Listed at 6'10" and 235 pounds on Wake Forest's official athletic website, Collins went from relative obscurity in NBA scouting circles to a potential lottery pick.
B/R's Jonathan Wasserman wrote the following about Collins' rising stock in February:
Exciting athleticism helps back up the numbers when assessing his NBA potential. He's the nation's leader in player efficiency rating and passes the eye test with 6'10", 225-pound size and plenty of bounce around the rim.
Though not quite polished with advanced ball skills or post moves, he's still scoring in volume thanks to high off-ball activity as a rim runner, cutter and putback finisher on the glass. His 16.3 offensive rebounding percentage ranks top 10 in the nation.
Despite the positive vibes around Collins, Wasserman pegged him going 20th to the Atlanta Hawks in a mock draft posted on March 10.
Considering where Collins started the year—he was an athletic power forward who only averaged 7.3 points in 14.4 minutes as a freshman—climbing that high up draft boards since November made it a no-brainer for him to turn pro.
Collins still has plenty of room for improvement. He's offensively raw and needs to show more aptitude at creating his own shot, but it's hard not to be entranced by a big man who can run the floor and is a dynamic offensive rebounder.