Weight: 230 lbs
For a 7-footer, Zeller is extremely mobile. He runs the floor as well as any big in the draft with ease. His mobility and athleticism allow him to hedge on screens away from the basket and get out in transition. Time after time, Zeller kept ball handlers from getting to the rim or pulling up right away and was still able to recover back to his man. In transition, Zeller averaged 1.4 points per possession as a sophomore at Indiana.
Offensively, he has the unique ability to score in various ways. Whether it be by facing up or backing down, Zeller has incredible scoring instincts and the versatility to impose his will at times. The easiest transition for him to make will be as a pick-and-roll man. With his great hands, feet, and understanding of the game, he will be a constant threat with a playmaking point guard.
Zeller is the definition of a student-athlete. His best effort was always put forth in both aspects. His work ethic and high IQ, both on the court and off it, should make his transition to the NBA simpler than most.
Zellers’ wingspan measurement at the NBA Draft Combine was surprisingly larger than most expected. Despite that fact, it is still short. At 7’0” tall with a wingspan under 6’11”, he struggles as a rim protector and to secure rebounds at times.
His lack of strength is also a major factor going forth. Far too often, Zeller was pushed under the basket, giving up deep post positions that ultimately led to easy looks. This deficiency effects him more than just at the defensive end. At the offensive end, he struggles to finish through contact consistently.
Role on the Sixers
A lot of mock drafts have Zeller falling to the 76ers at No.11. If that is the case, the Sixers will be getting a player that was at one point the consensus No.1 pick in the draft.
Regardless of potentially falling out of the top ten, there was a reason for that. Zeller had an incredible freshman season and shocked the entire basketball world. If the Zeller of a year ago is the one that shows up in the NBA, whoever drafts him will be getting a steal.
If drafted by the Sixers, he will likely be expected to produce pretty consistently from day one. With a front court including Spencer Hawes, Kwame Brown, and Lavoy Allen, Philadelphia struggled to hang with opposing bigs on a nightly basis. While Zeller likely won’t help too much on the boards or protecting the rim, he will potentially add a scoring punch that the team is in dire need of.