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Report: Indiana’s Cody Zeller to declare for NBA draft

Apr 10, 2013, 10:35 AM EDT

Cody Zeller AP

This is another case where the decision shouldn’t be a surprise to even the most diehard fan in Bloomington.

Indiana’s star center Cody Zeller will declare for the NBA draft at a press conference Wednesday afternoon, reports Bob Kravitz of the Indy Star.

DraftExpress currently has Zeller going No. 6 in the upcoming draft. He joins fellow Hoosier Victor Oladipo in this draft class.

He’s got legit NBA center size at 7’0”, 240 pounds, but he also moves well and can get out in transition. He will provide offense off the bench as an NBA rookie — he has great skill and touch around the basket. Big men who can put up points are always at a premium in the NBA.

But there are questions, and we saw them all raised in the NCAA Tournament. There are doubts about whether he can handle the physicality of the NBA and still be effective. Against longer, athletic front line of Syracuse he did struggle as they got physical with him (he’s not going to get those calls as an NBA rookie, either) and it reinforced questions about him.

Don’t be shocked if he slides down the draft a little, but still not likely out of the top 10. And he could get that strength and in a couple years be a solid NBA rotation player with a long career.

  1. money2long - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    better now than next summer’s draft

  2. fnc111 - Apr 10, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    He should stay one more year.

  3. cj1403 - Apr 10, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    If he stays one more year, he’ll slip down the draft.

  4. jpanders - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    Don’t see anything more than a journeyman big man. The way he lowers his head and goes under defenders won’t fly in the NBA.

    • llfreedman - Apr 10, 2013 at 8:49 PM

      isn’t that a pretty easy thing to fix? Not sure why you’d dismiss his whole career because of one bad habit in a young player…

  5. elcapitanfiscal - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    He doesn’t look 7 feet tall..

    The eye test immediately tells you he’s probably not strong enough to battle inside with the NBA bigs..

    He has skill though, let’s see what he does but he should stay another year in my opinion

  6. Distinguished Male - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    Eh, he stays a year, the draft class gets better, and he slips. Probably the smartest decision for him and his wallet to declare this year in this hohum draft class. There’s no real big men, besides maybe him, Dieng and McGary.

  7. 1972wasalongtimeago - Apr 10, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    When does Utah, Indiana, or Boston pick?

  8. themagicfanguy - Apr 10, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    @Distinguished What? There are plenty of Bigs in this year’s draft. Len, Gobert, Austin just to name a few.

    • Distinguished Male - Apr 10, 2013 at 5:32 PM

      I never know what I’m talking about

  9. southpaw77 - Apr 10, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    Probably be as soft as his brother, Tyler Zeller.
    Tyler routine gets out-muscled in the paint for points and rebounds while looking timid.

  10. critter69 - Apr 10, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    I remember when Lew Alcindor (later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) was drafted, there were many questioning whether he was strong enough, especially when he went up against such players as Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain, et. al. And yes, I realize they were at the end of their careers (and Wilt had already retired), but that is why I included the ‘et. al.’, as they were not the ONLY ‘strong men’ in the NBA when Jabbar entered the NBA, playing for the Milwaukee Bucks.

    I don’t think he turned out to be such a slouch in strength over his career.

    • scalfor3 - Apr 10, 2013 at 8:32 PM

      Yeah, but Lew Alcindor was also arguably the most dominant college basketball player of all time. I don’t think he would’ve struggled because Syracuse got physical with him.

  11. saint1997 - Apr 11, 2013 at 9:19 AM


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