Cody Zeller's Strong Summer League Start Indicates Bobcats Didn't Blow Pick

Alex BallentineFeatured ColumnistJuly 16, 2013

Jun 28, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Bobcats first round draft pick Cody Zeller speaks to the media during his introduction press conference at Time Warner Arena. Mandatory Credit: Curtis Wilson-USA TODAY Sports
Curtis Wilson-USA TODAY Sports

"With the fourth selection in the 2013 NBA Draft, the Charlotte Bobcats select Cody Zeller, center, Indiana University."


That was the reaction of most when the Charlotte Bobcats selected the Indiana big man with the No. 4 overall selection in the 2013 NBA draft.

It's not that Zeller is a huge risk to be a bust. He has two seasons of solid production at Indiana that say his floor isn't very low. The issue that some had with the pick isn't Zeller's skill set, it's the potential of the players they passed up, such as Nerlens Noel and Alex Len. 

However, the earliest indications are showing that fans shouldn't be so quick to bash the pick. 

While Len and Noel recover from injuries that they suffered last season, Zeller is already making an impression on the Bobcats summer league team. 

The seven-footer has shined in the team's two most recent games. After scoring just eight points with five rebounds in the team's first game, he has upped his game with two double doubles. 

First, there was the 21-point, 13-rebound performance against the Dallas Mavericks. Not only did he post great numbers offensively, shooting 6-of-12 from the field, but he also showcased the athleticism that made him a coveted target for Rich Cho and Co. with this block on the fast break:

He then followed up that game with an 18-point, 10-rebound performance where he once again displayed a knack for finishing around the basket, getting the and-1 opportunity here:

Obviously, summer league results should be taken with a grain of salt. There have been many players who that have dominated the preseason circuit but couldn't translate it to success.

However, the summer league does have a way of sorting out those that can't play. If a top draft pick can't dominate now, it's likely going to be a difficult transition once the real season gets underway. 

Whether or not Zeller becomes a bust is something that has yet to be seen. A handful of strong summer league performances won't mean a whole lot if he can't make an impact on the team next season. But he's passed the first test of his career by showing the ability to dominate when playing with his fellow young peers. 

For now, that's reason to be optimistic about the pick.