Cody Zeller Rumors
May 17 at 10:00pm CST By Chuck Myron
As day three of the NBA draft combine comes to a close, updates are still coming in from reporters stationed in Chicago for the event, which runs through Sunday. We covered the news from the first part of the day in this post, and we'll round up additional items here:
- Robbins adds Victor Oladipo and Nate Wolters to the list of players the Magic have interviewed, which includes a total of 18 prospects. Trey Burke isn't one of them, but he'll likely visit Orlando soon for a lengthy workout and interview.
- Zeller has interviewed with 10 teams at the combine, and the Sixers are one of them, reports Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Nerlens Noel told Andy Katz of ESPN that he's interviewed with the Celtics, Magic, Bobcats, Suns, Pelicans and Cavaliers, as Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv passes along. Katz also hears Gorgui Dieng and Jamaal Franklin are hopeful they'll be healthy enough to work out before the draft. Alex Len won't be ready to hit the court until August, but he's planning to talk with 15 teams at the combine, according to Katz.
- Dennis Schroeder is one of a pair of international prospects rumored to have received a promise from a team, and he said following an interview with the Bucks at the combine that Milwaukee could be a fit for him, notes Charles F. Gardner of the Journal Sentinel. Schroeder also sees a chance for playing time with the Jazz.
- The Magic interviewed Otto Porter during the combine, and scheduled a meeting with Kelly Olynyk as well, reports Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel (Twitter links).
- Sean Deveney of The Sporting News counts Cody Zeller among those with a shot at becoming the top pick after an impressive showing in drills today.
- Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press adds Brandon Paul and Tony Mitchell to the list of Pistons interviewees. Paul has a workout with the team scheduled for later this month.
- The Oregonian's Jason Quick looks at the prospect interview process the Trail Blazers employ, and adds that GM Neil Olshey flew to Europe this spring to scout Rudy Gobert and Dario Saric, who aren't taking part in the combine.
May 16 at 11:56am CST By Luke Adams
11:56am: More A.M. updates out of Chicago:
- Nerlens Noel told reporters that he hasn't completed any interviews so far, but that he's "pretty sure" he has one scheduled with the Magic. He's not quite so sure about the Cavaliers (Twitter links).
- Steven Adams and Kelly Olynyk are among the prospects that have met with the Wizards so far and think they'd fit in well in Washington (Twitter links). Mason Plumlee is also on the Wizards' list, tweets J. Michael of CSNWashington.com.
- Olynyk has met with the Bobcats as well, says Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter link).
- Gorgui Dieng will work out for the Bucks, who will also interview Rudy Gobert and Plumlee, according to Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times (Twitter links).
- A couple notes from SI.com's Chriss Mannix (via Twitter): Cody Zeller has spoken to the Raptors, Trail Blazers, Rockets, and Celtics, while Mike Muscala only has interviews lined up with the Spurs and Hawks, but will do "nine or 10" workouts later. One of those workouts will be with the Blazers, tweets Jason Quick of the Oregonian.
- Shabazz Muhammad and Deshaun Thomas interviewed with the Timberwolves last night, writes Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune.
11:09am: With a number of reporters in attendance at the NBA's predraft camp in Chicago, we're expecting plenty of noteworthy tidbits to trickle in throughout the day. Here's a round-up of the first batch of updates on 2013's draft combine participants:
- According to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal (Twitter link), the Cavaliers aren't on Otto Porter's list of teams he's meeting with this week. That's a bit of a surprise, given the rumblings that he's high on the team's big board, though as Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Plain Dealer tweets, the Cavs drafted a pair of players they didn't interview last year.
- Porter is scheduled to meet with the Wizards, who spoke to Victor Oladipo earlier this week, tweets Michael Lee of the Washington Post. Porter will meet with the Pistons as well, tweets Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press. The Bobcats, Thunder, and Suns have already met with Porter, according to Lee (via Twitter).
- The Pistons are also prepared to meet with Shabazz Muhammad today, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com (Twitter link). Muhammad interviewed with the Trail Blazers yesterday and felt it went very well, tweets Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com.
- Nate Wolters and Adonis Thomas were among the prospects who have met with the Lakers so far, says Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld (via Twitter).
- Glen Rice Jr., who played in the D-League this past season, has been interviewed by the Bucks, Celtics, Warriors, Sixers, and Spurs, he confirmed to reporters (all Twitter links).
April 10 at 8:42am CST By Luke Adams
Indiana big man Cody Zeller has a press conference scheduled for 4:00pm this afternoon, at which point he'll announce that he's entering this year's NBA draft, according to Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star (via Twitter). The Star reported yesterday that Zeller would hold a presser today to reveal his decision.
Like his teammate Victor Oladipo, who officially declared his intent to go pro yseterday, Zeller projects as a likely lottery pick in June. Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com had Zeller atop his big board earlier this season, though now he has dropped him to No. 6. ESPN.com's Chad Ford ranks Zeller 10th among 2013's prospects.
In his sophomore year at Indiana, Zeller averaged 16.5 PPG and 8.1 RPG. Assuming he's drafted and sees action next year, he'll be the third Zeller brother to appear in an NBA game. His older siblings Tyler Zeller and Luke Zeller made their debuts for the Cavaliers and Suns, respectively, in 2012/13.
To keep tabs on all the NCAA underclassmen who have decided to go pro, be sure to check out our complete list of early entrants.
April 9 at 9:45pm CST By Michael Pina
A few random notes from around the NBA:
April 9 at 12:10pm CST By Luke Adams
With the nets in Atlanta cut down and this year's NCAA season in the books, focus now turns to which players will enter 2013's draft class and which will return to school. Here are the latest updates on what has already been a busy day for draft news:
- Indiana's Cody Zeller has scheduled a press conference tomorrow to announce whether he'll go pro or return to school, tweets Ronnie Ramos of the Indianapolis Star. I expect Zeller will enter the draft, but we'll wait for official word.
- ESPN.com's Chad Ford (Insider-only link) has unveiled his first official mock draft of 2013, based on the NBA's current reverse standings.
- Ford's top five includes Ben McLemore and Victor Oladipo, both of whom will announce later today that they're going pro.
- Last month, Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun
reported that Mike George, formerly of CIA Bounce, was set to become an
NBA agent. Today, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports has the details
on George's new role, reporting that he'll join Jeff Schwartz at Excel
Sports Management. How does this relate to the draft? Surefire lottery
pick Anthony Bennett of UNLV is expected to come aboard as George's first client (Twitter links).
- Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld examines the respective draft stocks of many of the players involved in last night's Louisville/Michigan national championship game.
April 1 at 6:59pm CST By Zach Links
Indiana's season is in the books, but Hoosiers fans will be keeping a close eye on two players in particular as we approach June. Victor Oladipo, a 6'5" walking highlight reel, figures to go in the top ten along with big man Cody Zeller. Nerlens Noel, injury and all, is still likely to be the first center off of the board, but Zeller won't be far behind in a draft class lacking impact big men.
At 7'0", Zeller made an impression right away as a freshman in 2011/12. The center led the team with 15.6 PPG and 6.6 RPG while shooting 62.3 percent from the floor, the fourth best field goal percentage in the nation. After being named the Big Ten's Freshman of the Year and impressing across the board, Zeller would have been a surefire lottery pick. Instead, he chose to came back to IU for a second season. He may not have improved his stock, per se, but it's hard to imagine that it's fallen significantly given the makeup of the 2013 class.
Zeller's return powered Indiana to win the Big Ten title and averaged 16.8 PPG with 8.2 RPG while shooting 57% from the field. He can move on to the NBA knowing that he did a great deal to help his team on the way out, but he's not necessarily leaving on a high note. Syracuse downed Indiana 61-50 on Thursday and a big reason for their W was their ability to take Zeller out of the game. There was no ~60% shooting percentage here as the big man shot just 3-of-11 from the floor. He wasn't stifled by anyone in particular as much as he just seemed overwhelmed by the team pressure the Orange put on him.
Some have slammed his aggressiveness in the wake of last week's tournament exit, but that game wasn't representative of his entire body of work. Zeller definitely has a mean streak and is more than willing to bang with other big men in the paint for loose balls. The shooting performance also wasn't indicative of what he's capable of. Zeller can work well with his back to the basket and has a skillset in that realm that should position him well at the next level.
What hurts him is his play on the other side of the ball. Defensively, Zeller has been able to use his size to frustrate opponents in college. In the NBA, being 7'0" alone won't make you a difference maker. In order to really develop as an all-around player, Zeller will have to - in the words of Hulk Hogan - say his prayers and take his vitamins. If he can't get stronger, then Zeller won't get very far at the next level. That aside, you can still expect Zeller's name to be called in the top ten in this year's draft.
April 1 at 3:59pm CST By Chuck Myron
A pair of underclassmen declared their intentions to enter the NBA draft today, with N.C. State's C.J. Leslie and Kentucky's Archie Goodwin entering the mix. Here's more of what we're hearing with the draft now less than three months away:
- The tournament bracket makes it clear which NCAA teams are winners, but Ben Standig of CSNWashington sorts through the March Madness winners and losers as it pertains to the draft.
- Standig cites Kentucky center Nerlens Noel as a winner, and Sean Deveney of The Sporting News agrees, even though Noel has been out since February with a torn ACL (Twitter link). Other contenders to be the No. 1 overall pick, like Cody Zeller, Ben McLemore, Otto Porter and Marcus Smart all faltered, Deveney observes.
- Joe Kotoch of SheridanHoops.com unveils the initial version of his mock draft, and has Noel going first overall, followed by Smart and McLemore.
- A Western Conference GM tells Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv that six or seven members of the 2014 draft class would be in the mix for the No. 1 pick if they were eligible this year (Twitter link).
- A GM who spoke to Dave Telep of ESPN.com echoed that sentiment, citing five potential All-Stars who could be in next year's draft: Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Aaron Gordon, Julius Randle and Andrew Harrison (Twitter link).
March 30 at 7:53pm CST By Ryan Raroque
In 2003, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim directed a squad led by NBA-hopefuls Hakim Warrick, Gerry McNamara, and freshman Carmelo Anthony through the NCAA tournament and ultimately to a national championship after besting Roy Williams and the Kansas Jayhawks in the final game. Boeheim increased his chances of celebrating the ten-year anniversary of that title win with another one this year, as his Orangemen - headed by first-round prospect Michael Carter-Williams - advanced to the Final Four after defeating Marquette tonight. That aside, here are a few rumblings surrounding some potential draft prospects this year:
- ESPN NBA insider Chad Ford tweets that Carter-Williams is peaking at the right time and could be one of three point guards selected in the top 10 in June.
- Joel Brigham of HoopsWorld discusses how Michigan's Trey Burke has helped his draft stock with a strong tournament thus far, but the same can't be said for Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart or Indiana's Cody Zeller. While Smart and Zeller have been ranked ahead of Burke for the most part, Brigham thinks that the Wolverine point guard could have a chance at leapfrogging both on the draft board this summer.
- Alex Prewitt of The Washington Post takes an in-depth look at Alex Len of Maryland, using advanced stats to gauge the 7'1 center's efficiency as a low-post player.
March 29 at 8:10pm CST By Alex Lee
With the second night of Sweet 16 games kicking off shortly, let's consolidate all news on soon-to-be NBA prospects here:
- It appears that Kyle Anderson plans to return to UCLA for his sophomore year next season, reports Adam Zagoria of SNY. Anderson's father sent out a text message to several media outlets to confirm that his soon will stay in school, quelling the fears of Bruins fans that were worried Anderson would bolt in the wake of Ben Howland's firing. Before news broke today, Jonathan Givony of Draft Express tweeted that he heard Anderson was "100% planning on declaring for the draft."
- In an Insider-only story, Kevin Pelton of ESPN gauges the draft stock of Anderson's teammate and fellow freshman at UCLA, Shabazz Muhammad. Pelton maintains a draft-related database that indicates a prospect's age is nearly as important a predictor of NBA success as anything else, which doesn't bode well for Muhammad. While he was only a freshman this year, the Los Angeles Times discovered last week that Muhammad is actually 20 years old, not 19 as was previously thought. Muhammad currently ranks seventh on the Draft Express Top 100 list. Pelton suggests that the news on Muhammad's age should bump him down from that spot, though it remains to be seen if that actually happens.
- Neither Cody Zeller nor Victor Oladipo said much last night regarding their future after their Hoosiers fell to Syracuse in the Sweet 16. Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star writes that most scouts think Oladipo's stock can't get much higher, and it is likely that the uber-athletic junior will declare for the draft because of it. Zeller is a different story, however. After entering the season projected as a top-3 pick, Zeller's lack of toughness and inability to dominate have scouts questioning his potential, Wells says. It seems like another year at Indiana might be the best bet for the 7-foot sophomore. Our Chuck Myron profiled Oladipo yesterday in our Prospect Profile series.
- After they held out Goran Dragic on Wednesday against the Jazz, it was only natural for questions about tanking to come up inside the Suns locker room. Paul Coro, reporting for USA Today, writes that Suns players have continued to play hard in part because many of them believe that this year's draft is lacking on impact players.
- According to an Eastern Conference talent evaluator, this year's draft class should not be classified as "weak", writes Michael Lee of the Washington Post. While there may be no sure-fire studs, this draft will likely turn out as many NBA starters or even NBA All-Stars as most. Lee says that many recent drafts have also received the "weak" label, only to produce a respectable crop of players. "And I think this draft is going to be no different," the talent evaluator said.
March 15 at 7:28pm CST By Chuck Myron
College basketball will take center stage for the next few weeks with the NCAA Tournament set to begin Tuesday. For NBA types, that means one final chance to evaluate a number of the top draft prospects in game action. Here are the latest draft-related dispatches we're hearing:
- Despite a torn ACL, Kentucky center Nerlens Noel remains in line to be picked in the top five this June, and could still go No. 1. That speaks to the weakness in the upper echelon of this year's draft class, according to an NBA front-office veteran who spoke to Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com. "He can be good defensively, but it's not like he's the next Bill Russell," the executive said of Noel. "There's another reason he's staying that high in the draft."
- The Magic are currently in line for the No. 2 overall selection, and Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel looks at five potential high lottery picks, projecting how their addition to the Magic would affect the team's current roster.
- Following up on last week's look at a few top college prospects who will miss the NCAA tournament, Chad Ford of ESPN.com has an Insider-only piece on others within the ESPN top 60 whose seasons are essentially over, noting that few scouts pay much attention to the NIT and other consolation events.
- An improved offensive showing this season is what has Victor Oladipo on a fast climb up draft boards, Howard-Cooper writes, projecting the Indiana swingman as a mid-lottery pick. That's right around the range where teammate Cody Zeller, once thought of as a potential No. 1 pick, could wind up being drafted.