Though not necessarily a Bobcats fan (but really wanting to become one), I was mystified by the Cody Zeller pick. I couldn't figure out why they'd pass over players who perceivably have a much higher ceiling like Ben McLemore, big (little) man Nerlens Noel (though not so mystified by him), or Alex Len. Well, Zeller is arguably the most versatile of the group, and fits in the best with what Charlotte wants to do on the floor. Plus, he is a scrappy hard worker which can be gleaned from Newest Charlotte Bobcat Cody Zeller had to scrap for everything by Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.
Hardcore Bobcats fans probably knew that Rich Cho had a hard-on for Zeller, but actually Steve Clifford appreciated Zeller's versatile skill set as well. Here is the key part of the article (but you can read the rest for fluff):
The Bobcats passed over some formidable prospects – Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore and big men Nerlens Noel of Kentucky and Alex Len of Maryland – to select Zeller fourth.
McLemore and Oladipo would work out for the Bobcats only individually, which Cho said was unacceptable. Zeller auditioned for the Bobcats with several other players. It was one of 10 workouts he participated in all around the NBA.
“I’ve been playing basketball my whole life, so I had no problem working out against anyone,’’ Zeller said. “I like proving myself.’’
In that workout Zeller hit a slew of NBA 3-pointers after attempting just two college 3s in two seasons at Indiana. New Bobcats coach Steve Clifford called it “eye-opening’’ that Zeller was such a proficient shooter.
It’s clear the Bobcats plan to fast-track Zeller into a role in their rotation. They need his scoring in a frontcourt where center Bismack Biyombo and small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist combined for just 14 points a game last season.
“Stretch 4s’’ – power forwards with the shooting range to spread defenses – are in vogue these days in the NBA. The current trend essentially started with Rashard Lewis playing for the Magic. Clifford was on that coaching staff in Orlando, and made a point Friday of comparing what Lewis did with how Zeller can contribute in Charlotte.
But that’s not all Clifford expects of Zeller. Clifford said Zeller’s best attribute is versatility. He runs the floor well and physical testing at the NBA Combine last month showed he has particularly quick feet for a 7-footer.
Those are tools Clifford can employ defensively on a team that was in the bottom three last season in points allowed and opponent field-goal percentage.
Offensively Clifford has all sorts of plans for Zeller. He’s happy point guard Kemba Walker plans to practice with the summer league team, so that Walker and Zeller can start collaborating in pick-and-rolls. Clifford also sees Zeller as a shooter-ballhandler at the top of the key, which could open more driving lanes for Kidd-Gilchrist, Gerald Henderson and Jeff Taylor.
Read more here: http://www.charlotte...l#storylink=cpy
So, basically there it is: the rationale behind the pick. I hope it works out for them.