NBA Mock Draft 2013: Predicting Picks 21-30

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29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Cody Zeller, Indiana (PF/C)

Age: 20 (Sophomore)

Height/Weight: 7’0/230

Apr 10, 2013; Bloomington, IN, USA; Indiana Hoosiers player Cody Zeller at a press conference for the NBA draft. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowksi-USA TODAY Sports

Cody Zeller is entering the draft earlier than some would have suggested.  He didn’t show the improvement expected after his great freshman campaign, with his game changing very little from where it was last year.

Zeller still shows potential in the mid-range, though he attempts few shots of that nature. What makes him so attractive is his athleticism. He runs the floor better than most players his size, with excellent movement in the half court and he displays great instincts and effort.

There are flaws, though. Lots of them. His frame isn’t as filled out as it should be, and he very obviously shies from contact and rough defense (which hurts in a very physical NBA).

Zeller has smaller hands and a below average wingspan, making his ability to finish over defenses suspect.

I’m going to start sounding like a broken record saying this about another prospect, but he’s raw. He has all the tools and the potential to really anchor a defense and provide an additional big man offensive dimension to any team. But he’s a long-term prospect.