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NBA Draft: Why the Sixers Should Draft Mason Plumlee or Cody Zeller

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Don't be fooled by the rocks that I got. I'm still I'm still Jenny from the block.

"He loves to talk the game" - Wheels
"He loves to talk the game" - Wheels
USA TODAY Sports

Between one of the 4,289 emails Mike has sent in the past month, one of them focused on our new draft feature, "Why the Sixers should draft ________." Mike listed ten or so players, and everyone took one prospect they would tout.

Well, apparently the last one to the dinner table gets stuck with Mason Plumlee and Cody Zeller - two of, if not the two most maligned prospects in the LB Community. Remember, kids. Constantly check your email.

So here we go.

I will now convince you that the Sixers should draft Mason Plumlee.

Mason Plumlee

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>NO! NO! NO! RT <a href="https://twitter.com/wheresbenrivera">@wheresbenrivera</a> I think the Sixers should draft Mason Plumlee.</p>&mdash; Kenny Brophy (@kjbrophy) <a href="https://twitter.com/kjbrophy/statuses/345711947397857282">June 15, 2013</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/wheresbenrivera">@wheresbenrivera</a> said no one ever</p>&mdash; Eric Tung (@tungeric) <a href="https://twitter.com/tungeric/statuses/345712477134270465">June 15, 2013</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/wheresbenrivera">@wheresbenrivera</a> no one cares. Fold the laundry.</p>&mdash; MJC (@mjcamps53) <a href="https://twitter.com/mjcamps53/statuses/345713236437512192">June 15, 2013</a></blockquote>
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Moving on.

Cody Zeller

Cody Zeller is tall and white. I think we're all in agreement there.

And unless Larry Bird can somehow reenter the NBA Draft (Bird's back issues are a concern at age 56; but still some nice 2nd Round value there), just about every white NBA prospect will have to shed the ‘soft' label, and the ‘stiff' label, and the ‘slow' label.

And I'm guilty of it, too.

I'm always expecting the Next Todd Fuller, the mountainous North Carolina St. Center whose foot speed rivaled that of a glacier.

"You white? Then you Ben Affleck." - Role Models

You big? You white? Then you're Todd Fuller.

During the NBA Draft Combine, Zeller finished first in the lane agility drill and the standing vertical leap (34.5 inches). He ran the fastest three quarter sprint of any big man, and recorded just a 4.5% body fat. 4.5%.


He's the Anti-Kwame. The only two people I know with lower body fat are the venerable Jordan Sams and the late, great Ravishing Rick Rude. Zeller's gonna eat a salad, and then beat his man down the court. He's a big who can run the floor. A big, who can help us shed this plodding, slow-paced half court offense that we've hung our mediocre hats on for the past two seasons. (The Sixers finished 20th in pace this season. Finished 24th last year).

I don't know what these combine tests mean. That's Derek's department. I'm just a guy who has a bunch of Pawn Stars episodes on DVR. But I do know that Zeller Brothers are like computers. Each one is better than the last.

Was it a fluke? Is Zeller really just a workout warrior? Or is Cody Zeller more athletic than his skin color suggests he should be?

Per Draft Express :


Zeller's stock took a bit of a hit this season, to the point that he is no longer a lock to get drafted in the top five as he was projected to start the year. He'll need to have a good showing during the pre-draft process, particularly in matchups with other players at his position, but it's difficult to see him falling too far in the draft considering he's an athletic 7-footer with tremendous scoring instincts. Barring injury, it's safe to say Zeller will be in the NBA for a long time.

This last line seems to be the consensus of most draft experts. Zeller could carve a niche in this league as a solid rotational player for years to come. And with the 11th pick in a really weak draft, what else can you ask for? Greedy little fellas, you are. Is Bill Russell available at #11? Is Steven Adams, and his 7 points and 6 boards per game, actually Ralph Sampson in disguise?

People want the home run pick. Swing for the fences. A bunch of Ryan Howards swinging at breaking balls low and away. And I hear ya. The Sixers need a superstar. I get that. But he's not here. Not at #11.

Not in this year's draft.

By most accounts, Cody Zeller had a down sophomore campaign compared to his freshman season. And while his FG% decreased slightly, his rebounding percentage, a question mark of his game, improved. Before the season, he was considered a top-5 pick. Now, some teams' fans won't go anywhere near him. Cody Zeller is now an undervalued asset, a terrific buy-low candidate.

His demise has been greatly exaggerated.