As I'm sure you're aware by now, we selected Indiana forward Cody Zeller with the fourth overall pick in last night's NBA Draft. I cannot begin to tell you how excited Rich Cho and I, and our entire organization, are to have Cody join our team. We look forward to adding him to our young core as we continue to build our team.
In two seasons at Indiana, Cody played in 72 games, averaging 16.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.2 blocks and 1.2 steals in 29.0 minutes. This past season, he led the Hoosiers in scoring, rebounding and blocks, earning First Team All-Big Ten and Second Team AP All-America honors, along with a spot on the John R. Wooden All-America Team. In addition, he also earned First Team Academic All-American and Academic All-Big Ten honors. As a freshman in 2011-12, Cody was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Second Team All-Big Ten and Honorable Mention AP All-American.
We believe Cody will be a great addition to our young core, and I'd like to share with you some of the reasons that we are so high on him:
Versatility: Cody is a big man that can play both inside and on the perimeter. His abilities will fit in well with our personnel and compliment the skills of our other big men.
Shooting Ability: Cody finished at Indiana as the school's all-time leader in field goal percentage (59.1%), and we believe his outside game will only get better at the pro level. He has the ability to become a stretch four in the NBA.
Athleticism: Cody is one of the best athletes in this year's draft, particularly for his size (7-0). At the predraft combine, he recorded the highest-ever standing vertical jump (35.5) for a player taller than 6-9. His athleticism fits in extremely well with the up-tempo pace that head coach Steve Clifford plans on playing.
Intangibles: Cody's work ethic is off the charts, which fits in perfectly with the culture we are creating with our young core. He is a smart player with a high basketball IQ, and he makes the players around him better.
We're thrilled to have Cody join our team, and we know that you - our fans - will enjoy watching him play at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Now that the draft has concluded, we will turn our attention to free agency, where we could have up to $21 million under the salary cap with which to continue to add quality players to our roster. As we do constantly, we will continue to explore every opportunity to make our team better and we will aggressively pursue the players and assets that we feel will accomplish that goal.
As always, thank you for your continued support of the Charlotte Bobcats.
President of Basketball Operations