The Cleveland Cavaliers’ frontcourt will get a huge boost in the 2013-2014 NBA season. They selected Anthony Bennett with the number one overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft to join Tristan Thompson at the power forward. They also signed Andrew Bynum as their likely starting center, if he’s healthy, and will get Anderson Varejao back from energy.
However, with all of this quality depth to their frontcourt, it raises questions about what the Cavs are going to do with Tyler Zeller who started 55 games for Cleveland at center as a rookie last year. Though Zeller got a big opportunity as a rookie with Varejao injured, he didn’t have much success as the Cavs’ starting center.
In 77 games, Zeller averaged just 7.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 0.9 blocks in 26.4 minutes per game. He also shot a paltry 43.8 percent from the field, an extremely low mark for a big man. In his 55 starts he averaged just 8.3 points, six boards, 1.4 assists and one block in 28.1 minutes per game while only shooting 43.4 percent from the field.
The question that remains is what happens to Zeller now. At the Las Vegas Summer League, Zeller didn’t show many signs of making a ton of progress. In four games he averaged just 10.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 27 minutes per game. He shot 51.5 percent from the field, but that’s not a difficult task for a seven-footer with any kind of skill in Summer League.
In reality, it seems like the Cavs have two options at this point. Their first is that they try to trade Varejao, which would put Zeller in the backup center role. The second is that they use Zeller as trade bait. Though he hasn’t had much success, he hasn’t been an abomination either and could probably draw a decent amount of interest. Either way, Zeller is the odd-man out in the Cavs’ frontcourt right now.