On the night of the 2013 NBA Draft, it seemed like the Charlotte Bobcats had made another dubious addition to their tumultuous history in the draft that includes the likes of Adam Morrison and Bismack Biyombo. With Nerlens Noel, Alex Len and Ben McLemore still left on the board at the Bobcats fourth overall selection, Charlotte reached to draft Cody Zeller out of Indiana.
There were several issues with picking Zeller so high. First, there were players with way more upside still left in the draft. Another issue was the fact that Zeller wasn’t projected to go until late in the lottery, meaning the Bobcats could have traded down and still been able to land him. Yet another problem was the fact that there wasn’t going to be much buzz surrounding Zeller’s arrival.
However, as Zeller has taken the court with the Bobcats at the Las Vegas NBA Summer League, he’s starting to create a little buzz for himself and is slowly making Charlotte’s choice to draft him seem less like a mistake.
In their first game in Vegas, Zeller struggled to get things going. His jumper was off, including a horrendous air-ball, and he finished the game with just eight points, five rebounds, and one block on just 4-9 shooting and no trips to the free throw line.
Zeller has since turned things around, though. In the three games since his Summer League debut, he has averaged 19 points, 10.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game while shooting 22-41 from the field. Moreover, he’s been able to get to the line 18 times, knocking down 13 of them. His offensive game has really settled down and has proved to be quite versatile as he’s gone on, showing the ability to run and score and transition, score in the post, and knock down a mid-range jumper.
It’s just Summer League, meaning that Zeller will have to a little more in the preseason and regular season to make believers of everyone, but he’s well on his way. He’s a polished offensive player that knows how to use his athleticism and attributes to his advantage. Zeller’s upside is still somewhat in question, but it seems like he’ll be able to produce right off the bat for the Bobcats.