The Charlotte Bobcats had their chance for a major pick, but they dropped the ball in a major way.
The Bobcats went with Indiana‘s Cody Zeller with the fourth selection of the 2013 NBA draft. The Bobcats obviously recognize that they need to have a strong inside game, but Zeller’s lack of physical aggressiveness and maturity makes this a very risky choice. It’s likely he won’t even start much next season.
The options for the Bobcats went soaring when Anthony Bennett was the surprise no. 1 pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers and Victor Oladipo went no. 2 to the Orlando Magic. Otto Porter Jr. then went to the Washington Wizards, and Charlotte’s table was set.
They could have gone for Alex Len or Nerlens Noel, whose knee problems are apparently scaring off everyone.
After a disappointing season from their 2012 no. 1 pick, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the Bobcats want someone who will have an impact in their rookie season and not have the struggles Kidd-Gilchrist endured. The Bobcats, with Steve Clifford as new coach, want to improve dramatically from their 21-61 this past season, the second worst in the league. But they’re taking a bold risk on Zeller.
He averaged 16.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 13 blocks per game. His shooting was fine at 56.2 percent from the floor and 75.7 percent in free throws.
But can Zeller mix it up with the NBA’s best men inside? Eventually, perhaps. But for now, this pick has to have everyone wondering if team chairman Michael Jordan knows what he’s doing with this franchise. This was a lousy pic for being no. 4. The Bobcats had so many other excellent options.