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Tyler Zeller Traded to Cavs: Cleveland Going All in on the Wrong Guy

Moments after Tyler Zeller was selected by Dallas, he was shipped to Cleveland.
Moments after Tyler Zeller was selected by Dallas, he was shipped to Cleveland.Elsa/Getty Images
Ben ShapiroAnalyst IIIJune 29, 2012

Moments after it was announced that the Dallas Mavericks had selected Tyler Zeller with the 17th pick of the 2012 NBA Draft, a trade was announced.

The Mavs shipped Zeller, a very skilled big man out of North Carolina, to Cleveland. In return, the Cavaliers sent the Dallas Mavericks, not one, not two, but three draft picks. No's 24, 33 and 34 in tonight's draft.

Zeller is without question a good talent and Cleveland would not find an adequate replica of his skills at any of those other three draft positions.

They still gave up too much though.

The fact is that very little is ever guaranteed in a draft. Even Anthony Davis, about as sure a thing as the NBA has seen in several years comes with some risk.

The best way to alleviate the risk is by having multiple selections. That way you can spread the risk amongst several potential NBA players.

By handing over the remainder of their 2012 draft selections the Cavaliers have given that option away. They are "all in" as the saying goes on Tyler Zeller.

Is Zeller that good?

It's kind of hard to envision Zeller being that so good that he outweighs the contributions of who ever Dallas selects with the three picks they acquired in exchange for Zeller.

Vanderbilt center Festus Ezeli is one player who the Cavs may have passed on the chance to draft.
Vanderbilt center Festus Ezeli is one player who the Cavs may have passed on the chance to draft.Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The 2012 draft is a fairly deep draft, not deep with potential NBA superstars, but deep with potential solid NBA players.

The Cavaliers put a lot on the line to acquire Tyler Zeller. Is Zeller a future NBA star? He might be, more likely he's a solid NBA center. Is he worth three picks, in the top 35 of the 2012 NBA Draft? No, that's too much to give up for a player who may very well end up not all that much better than one or two of the players selected with those picks.  

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