In the 2012 NBA Draft, the Dallas Mavericks selected North Carolina center Tyler Zeller and traded him to the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 24th, 33rd and 34th picks.
All (well, most) of your questions about the pick are answered here:
Did the Cavs get burned on this trade?
No way. Zeller was the last good player on the board and is better than the three picks that the Cavs gave up. The Cavs also picked up Kelenna Azubuike, who has been a solid ball player when given some clock at Golden State. The Cavs didn't want four rookies anyway.
What would Negative Nick say about this draft?
He would say that the Cavs had four of the first 34 picks. From that, they ended up with a Hail Mary pick (Waiters) and a role player (Zeller).
What would Paul Positive have to counter that analysis?
That dude would counter that Waiters is, at worst, the second best shooting guard, and Zeller is the Cavs' starting center for a long time.
Zeller was originally projected to be a lottery pick, no?
Most mock drafts had him getting picked in the middle of the first round. Zeller was never projected to be a star player like most lottery picks. He has the talent, though. Look around … 7-foot big men who can score, move around, and hit free throws don't grow on trees.
Are there any concerns?
Of course, there are concerns. Zeller was pushed around in the paint at North Carolina a lot for a senior. He also flopped at times. He didn't rebound much until his final year and isn't much of a shot blocker, either.
So, Zeller sounds like a role player that will knock down some shots and grab a few boards?
He may end up better than that. He'll probably struggle against bigger centers until he can pack on some pounds. He needs to put his work in and get tougher. Zeller may never be a star, but he can still become a starter that helps the Cavs win some games.
Is there any risk with Zeller?
There is very little risk. He is no Anthony Davis, but most likely, Zeller will be a solid contributor for years to come.
Can Zeller defend the post?
Zeller isn't a very physical player. His ability to play defense will be a major factor in determining how many minutes he gets. In fact, his whole career could come down to rebounding and defense.
What NBA players does he remind you of?
He reminds me of Nick Collison, but he could have a Marcin Gortat ceiling.
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