As NBA free agency sends teams into a frenzy, Roberto Gato is still looking at the Charlotte Bobcas most recent draft pick, Cody Zeller. Here’s what our writers had to say on the team’s surprising choice:
Highlighted by UNLV’s Anthony Bennett becoming the first overall pick, the 2013 NBA Draft had no shortage of headlines. After the top three picks were decided, the Bobcats were in for a surprise of their own. Arguably the three top talents in this year’s class were available at their Bobcats selection: Alex Len, Nerlens Noel and Ben McLemore.
The Bobcats were suddenly positioned to make out like bandits at the Barclays Center.
Only they didn’t.
The Bobcats selected Indiana’s Cody Zeller with the fourth pick. Zeller possesses some of the draft’s best intangibles. Rich Cho spoke highly of his character, motor and effortless fit into the working culture of the team. Zeller addresses the Bobcats need for athleticism, size and scoring up front. He’s an excellent finisher in transition and maintains the Bobcats desire of getting to the free throw line.
While Zeller projects to have a solid career, it’s questionable whether he was the best talent available. The Bobcats were in need to get the best talent and his upside isn’t exactly encouraging. Zeller ranked 10th in Draft Express’ Top-100 but did not make ESPN’s Chad Ford’s Top-10. Would he have been grabbed after the Bobcats pick, as Alex Len was? A case could be made that Zeller would have slid to the bottom of the top-10, or even out of it.
More importantly, Cho got his guy. Maybe Zeller can become a key part of the franchise and an all-star talent. If we’re to believe previous reports, other front office members wanted to go a different route. This isn’t the first time Cho has been questioned for a pick. He was the assistant general manager in Oklahoma City when Russell Westbrook was coicindentally taken fourth in 2008.
This draft pick could determine a lot about the team going forward. If Cho knows something nobody else knows, he deserves to be the general manager for life.
I was so high on Anthony Bennett that I went into a coma after the Cavs did the unthinkable by taking him number one. Then I woke up and found out the Bobcats drafted Cody Zeller with Nerlens Noel, Alex Len, and Ben McLemore available. Since I think Noel and Len won’t ever live up to the hype of the “possible number one overall” label some gave them, I wasn’t upset with the pick. I was a little shocked the ‘Cats passed on McLemore, though.
Still, they need front-court scoring more than anything else, and Zeller will immediately provide that. In a draft that some said was the weakest ever, I think the Bobcats drafted a player who’s ceiling is Brook Lopez-esque and who’s floor is nothing worse than Omir Asik (I understand Zeller’s game isn’t really anything like either of those guys’. I’m just talking about production here).