Posted June 27, 2013

Cody Zeller selected No. 4 by Bobcats in NBA draft

2013 NBA draft, Ben Golliver, Charlotte Bobcats, Cody Zeller
Cody Zeller averaged 16.5 points and 8.1 rebounds in 36 games at Indiana last season.

Cody Zeller averaged 16.5 points and 8.1 rebounds in 36 games at Indiana last season. (Porter Binks/SI)

The Bobcats selected Cody Zeller with the No. 4 pick in the NBA draft on Thursday. Here’s a look at Zeller and how he fits with Charlotte:

Bio: Indiana | Sophomore | Power Forward/Center

Vitals: 7-0, 230 pounds

2012-13 Statistics: 16.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, 1 steal, 56.2 percent shooting in 36 games.

Strengths: As SI.com’s Luke Winn noted throughout the season, Zeller exploited his mobility to become the best big man in the country in transition. At the draft combine, he ran the fastest three-quarter-court sprint among the power forwards and centers, and also impressed with his standing vertical leap and agility. He handles the ball well for his size, enabling him to be a threat off the dribble in a face-up situation. Zeller is a 75 percent free-throw shooter and has some shooting range.

Weaknesses: Zeller struggled to finish in the post at Indiana. If that part of his game doesn’t improve — and adding strength would help in that regard — he’ll have to become better as a mid-range shooter and rely even more on transition opportunities to score.

What Scouts Say: “The best running big man in the draft. He’s a better face-up player than we were shown in college. He has to get stronger on his post-ups, but he handles the ball well for a guy his size. If he develops a jump shot, that will give him more space to drive. I think he has great upside. When you talk to him, you see he’s an elite human being. He really gets it, and physically he’s an elite athlete.”

Team Fit: With needs up and down the roster, the Bobcats select Zeller, a versatile, all-around offensive-minded athlete who joins a frontcourt that includes fellow youngsters, Bismack Biyombo and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Zeller’s stock has bounced up and down, but his athletic tools should pair nicely with Kidd-Gilchrist as the Bobcats work desperately to form some sort of identity. Charlotte ranked third-worst in offensive efficiency last year and will need Zeller to score from Day 1. That Charlotte would pass on two players with significantly more upside — Nerlens Noel and Ben McLemore —  is genuinely surprising.

5 comments
Boyd
Boyd

Zeller broke the record for a big man at the draft combine with a 38" vertical leap. He runs the floor like a wing player. If he can gain some weight and get stronger, look out!

metalhead65
metalhead65

noel is no sure thing either and would not be able to help them much this year due to his injury which may affect the rest of his career. a great defensive player sur but the bobcats need offense and zeller will provide that. he has already gotten stronger this off season and will continue to but you do not want him to bulked upand take away his quickness do you. his ineffectiveness in the tourney was due more to IU's guards to handle the pressure and size of the people guarding them and allowing him to be double teamed and making him force shots that were not there. a great team player who be a contributor for years.

villepeople
villepeople

As a Cats fan (yes, we exist), this is embarrassing. McLemore and Noel were both sitting there and both would fill needs. But nope.

ShawnKemp2012
ShawnKemp2012

Wow.  The Bobcats really don't know what they are doing.  Newsflash, MJ.  It's not the 90's, it's no longer a big man's game.  You had your chance at McLemore and you blew it.