As the NBA Summer League wraps up I am trying to catch up with all the former North Carolina Basketball players taken in this year’s draft. In this post I am going to check out how former big man Tyler Zeller did in the third game of the tournament as his Cleveland Cavaliers (2-1) took on the Phoenix Suns (1-1) at the Thomas And Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV. Both the Cavs, who won the game going away by the final of 89 to 74, and Zeller, who recorded his first professional double double, did well in this one. As I have said many times over, the seven footer might not have been a sexy pick when it came to the draft, but he was a sound one.
For Zeller it was was a 10 points (4 for 10 ~ 0 for 0 ~ 2 for 2) night to go with 12 rebounds (six on the offensive side) as swell as a block shot, an assist and a pair of turnovers while having a +13 pts differential in just under 28 minutes of playing time. There is no doubt in my mind that the forward/center from Chapel Hill can do the same in the regular season as he is becoming more and more of a presence on both sides of the ball for the Cavs as the Summer League goes on. Of the quartet of players that last season were playing under head coach Roy Williams the one that intrigues me the most is Zeller as he is NBA ready right now, and while the so called analysts might be worried about him having reached his “roof of potential” I am sure that any franchise would not mind having their man in the middle averaging a double double per night, even more so if that player happens to be in his first season in the league.
For Zeller, who was the last of the four picked, going to the Dallas Mavericks as the 17th overall spot before being traded to the Cavaliers, it must be a great feeling to go out on the hardwoods and show that he has what it takes to play at the next level. Once the Vegas Tournament is done I am sure that the seven footer will find his way to get into a gym to work on bulking up some and getting to know his new city and team mates. And then, at the end of October we will truly see what he can do as the NBA regular season begins. As usual, for all updates on Tyler Zeller and all the other present and former North Carolina Basketball players check back often to isportsweb!