Charlotte Bobcats: In No Way, Shape or Form Does Cody Zeller Improve the Team

By Ryan Heckman

Michael Jordan should be absolutely ashamed of himself.

The 2013 NBA Draft started out so wild and unpredictable with Anthony Bennett going number one overall to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Charlotte Bobcats fans out there had to be thinking they were going to end up with a much better selection than they had thought.

Of course at number four overall, the Bobcats were going to get a very talented prospect nonetheless.

So, Bennett is off the board. Victor Oladipo goes next as predicted by most. Then, Otto Porter Jr. headed to the Washington Wizards, again one of the only predictable moves of the night. Then, at number four, fans in Charlotte are licking their chops thinking one thing and one thing only: Nerlens Noel.

“How on earth did this guy drop to us? This has to be a dream come true for Bobcats fans everywhere. Just announce the pick already, I can’t wait any longer!”

I know a Bobcats fan personally that, in his own choice words, was saying something like that prior to the pick being announced. Then, the unexpected happened.

Cody Zeller?

The Bobcats took Zeller? Are you kidding me? What were they thinking?

With guys like Noel, Alex Len, Ben McLemore and even Trey Burke still available — Burke wasn’t a need of course — the Bobcats had surely outdone themselves with this one.

Zeller was a great college basketball player at Indiana. Unfortunately, that’s all he’s ever going to be, just like his brothers.

The many draft profiles of Zeller stated some glaring weaknesses in which the Bobcats clearly overlooked. First and foremost, Zeller only shot 43 percent from the post. As one of the top prospects in the draft and arguably the top power forward in the draft — not my argument — he can only convert at 43 percent shooting from the post?

Not only that, but as a finisher Zeller came in at a startling 60.9 percent. We’re not talking jump shots or baby hooks from the paint. Had that been the case, this would be a much better looking statistic. We’re talking about a 7-footer who is at the rim and can’t finish better than that at the college level?

At the NBA level, many power forwards can shoot. The position has evolved. Guys like Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett have been great shooters for a while now which paved the way for jump shooting big men like Carlos Boozer, Paul Millsap, Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Chris Bosh, Pau Gasol, Brooke Lopez and David West.

Zeller converted his jump shots at a measly 37.5 percent.

Should I remind you that this is at the college level again? We’re talking about the fourth overall pick in the draft here, folks. When the Bobcats could have gotten a much more dynamic player at the fourth overall pick, they took Zeller.

From one year ago, Zeller not only dipped in efficiency but his turnovers increased in his most recent season. Not that he would have been a better prospect last year, but the fact that these two important categories fell is a little concerning and only adds to the fact that Mr. Jordan went outside of his mind to go and make this selection.

Charlotte is still in huge trouble and extremely far from contending even for an eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. Zeller won’t do anything to help that fact, and going out on a limb here, let me say that the kid will never make an All Star team nor will he ever be a productive power forward at the professional level. May God have mercy on your soul, Charlotte.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior Writer for Follow him on Twitter  @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.


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