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Jazz: Zeller begins pre-draft workouts in Utah

Published June 3, 2013 12:57 pm

NBA • Indiana big man impresses Jazz's coaching staff in workout.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Cody Zeller knows first-hand that "weird things" can happen in the NBA Draft.

That's one reason he visited Utah on Monday and participated in a pre-draft workout for the Jazz.

Zeller, a 7-footer from Indiana, is expected to be off the board long before Utah picks at No. 14.

So, what gives?

Zeller reminded reporters that his brother, Tyler, was supposed to be a lottery pick in last year's draft.

Tyler Zeller was invited to the "green room" on draft night, along with other top prospects. But he slipped to No. 17.

Dallas picked Tyler Zeller, quickly traded him to Cleveland and provided his younger brother with a lesson in being fully prepared.

Asked about the possibility of slipping to the Jazz, Cody Zeller said, "Weirder things have happened. Last year, Tyler fell a little bit, even though it worked out because he loves Cleveland. But weird things can happen."

Zeller, who does not turn 21 until Oct. 5, averaged 16.5 points and 7.4 rebounds at Indiana last season.

He was impressive during his hourlong workout with the Jazz.

"Cody played well," said director of player personnel Walt Perrin. "I thought he got stronger as the workout went on."

Zeller's pre-draft workout with the Jazz was his first. But he has three more scheduled this week, starting in Phoenix, which owns the No. 5 pick in the June 27 draft.

"It's fun just getting out here on the floor," Zeller said. "It's a long process. There's been a lot of talking so far. So it's fun be out here working out finally."

With two years of college eligibility remaining, Zeller could have stayed at Indiana. But his decision to declare for the draft sounded like an easy one.

"Just felt like I had enjoyed the college process enough," he said. "There's more room for improvement in the NBA. We had a great year. Obviously, we would have liked to win a national championship. But ... I think it's the best time for me now."

Zeller participated in a two-man workout with the Jazz. The other participant was Utah Valley's Nick Thompson, a 6-foot-9 forward who averaged 9.9 points and 7.9 rebounds last season.