The Charlotte Bobcats probably reached when they selected forward Cody Zeller with the fourth overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, but he was also the guy that he wanted and they were likely unable to trade their pick due to what they were asking or a weaker draft class. No matter the case, the pick left many people feeling cold toward this draft for Charlotte.
However, Zeller came out in the Las Vegas Summer League and in parts of the preseason and really changed opinions about him. He played with a ton of energy, showed off his enormous athleticism and that he had quite a few workable NBA skills on the offensive end of the floor.
As his rookie season has gotten underway, though, he’s had growing pains going on near constantly. While he’s shown flashes and have his moments where he looks the part of a quality NBA prospect this season, he’s also often looked lost with the speed of the game and had the appearance of a snail stuck on the freeway.
Friday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder was definitely an example of Zeller’s struggles with adjusting to the league. Playing 16 minutes off of the bench, Zeller put up just three points, four rebounds, one assist and one steal while missing all five of his field goal attempts and committing four turnovers. The quick Thunder forwards caused him a ton of issues and left him once again looking uncomfortable on the floor.
Zeller’s skills and potential are still present, but his biggest issue right now seems to be the fact that he’s not fully adjusted to the NBA game. Some players take a while to get within the flow of the pro game coming out of college and Zeller seems to be one of them. Though you could try switching up rotations to get Zeller more experience and run, this might just be something that will take time.