When the Cleveland Cavaliers drafted Tyler Zeller, many were happy at the prospect of welcoming a young, dynamic center to their roster. However, he’s been anything but dynamic in his season-and-a-half career. Zeller is constantly working hard to improve and the Cavaliers still believe he will come good. With Anderson Varejao injured, it looks like Zeller can now get more minutes to put his hard work to use on the court.
In the Cavaliers’ last game, Zeller was rewarded with a start and chipped in with 13 points and 10 rebounds. A double-double was a fine showing for the struggling second-year player, and this should prove to be a huge confidence booster. It will show both Zeller and Cleveland that he can indeed be a future starter at center for them.
He will need to improve on his rookie season in which he started 55 games and averaged 7.9 points and 5.5 rebounds if he is to be a starter for a team with playoff aspirations. It’s clear he has a lot of NBA–ready tools, but he needs to learn to develop them in order to be a successful player at that level.
Just because he was good during his college career and has had decent moments doesn’t mean he is a certainty for success, but Zeller has shown glimpses of potential that suggest the Cavaliers were right to draft him.