Thunder's Potential Draft Picks: Cody Zeller, Kelly Olynyk - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

Thunder's Potential Draft Picks: Cody Zeller, Kelly Olynyk

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Cody Zeller

Power Forward

Sophomore, Indiana

20 years old

Play style comparisons: Chris Bosh, Luis Scola


Extremely quick and agile for a guy his size. Like his brother, Tyler, he'll run the floor faster than any big in the NBA. Zeller's basketball IQ is very high and he understands where to go on the court. He has excellent touch around the rim and can score in a multitude of ways inside 10 feet.


His frame. Zeller might technically be a 7-footer but only has a 6'10 wingspan. He gets pushed around a lot and is considered by many to be skilled but soft (think Bosh). He has a tendency to play DeJuan Blair/Tyler Hansbrough style ball at times; attempting to bully his way into the paint and draw contact. At times, he's extremely successful, drawing 10 free throws per 40 minutes at Indiana, but other times it's a disaster. He doesn't have the strength of Blair or Hansbrough and doesn't have the hops or length to elevate over everyone, so on many occasions his moves end in having his shot packed back in his face.

How he could help OKC:

Zeller's talented enough to enter the rotation immediately and eventually join the starting unit. If he can toughen up and not turn the ball over in traffic, he'll allow OKC to put Kendrick Perkins on the bench and run Ibaka at center with Zeller at the 4. Simply put, if Perkins can't improve, Zeller will give the Thunder another inside option than just Nick Collison.

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Kelly Olynyk

Power Forward

Junior, Gonzaga

22 years old

Play style comparisons:  Jason Thompson


Olynyk is a deceptive 7-footer thanks to his unique mobility and versatility.  At Gonzaga, he didn't stand around in the paint waiting for someone to shoot like many post players. Instead, the offense flowed through him.  His ability to stretch the floor with his shooting and ball handling is very rare and allowed the ‘Zags to cause plenty of matchup problems.  Although he can shoot, Olynyk wasn't trigger happy from outside of 10 feet.  He preferred to drive the paint and use his size to get layups and draw fouls.     


For someone with his skill set, Olynyk didn't distribute the ball very well.  He averaged just 1.7 assists per game, which is extremely low considering how often he touched the ball, how much attention he drew and the high talent level around him.  For Olynyk to complete his game, he'll need to work on his court vision and passing skills; perhaps try to model his game after Boris Diaw.  His athleticism and explosiveness has also been called into question.  Some scouts don't believe he plays above the rim enough to be a true post player in the NBA. 

How he could help OKC:

Like a lot of guys fresh out of college, Olynyk is a bit of a project.  Some aspects of his game need improvement but he could still use his current skill set to aid the Thunder's rotation.  If OKC does draft him, he will have to learn to contribute despite playing a majority of the game without getting the ball; something he's certainly not used to.    

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