Utah Jazz to host Indiana's Cody Zeller, UVU's Nick Thompson in pre-draft workout
SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz will resume hosting pre-draft workouts Monday with a small session involving two big guys.
Indiana center Cody Zeller and Utah Valley power forward Nick Thompson will have a private tryout with the Jazz at the team's practice facility.
While Thompson's invitation continues a long-standing tradition of the Jazz to bring in local college players, the 20-year-old Zeller is projected to be a lottery pick.
Zeller, a mobile 7-footer, averaged 16.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 1.3 assists for the Hoosiers as a sophomore this past season. He helped Indiana get to the Sweet 16 in March. In May, he registered the highest standing leap (35.5 inches) at the Chicago Pre-Draft Combine.
Two popular mock draft websites have him going before the Jazz's first pick at No. 14 — seventh to the Kings (NBADraft.net) and 11th to the Sixers (Draftexpress.com).
Utah also has the 21st pick and the 46th selection as it tries to fill a roster that currently includes only six players with guaranteed contracts for the 2013-14 season.
Thompson is a name that might be familiar to Utah basketball fans. The 6-9 forward played high school ball at Clearfield before a college career that included stops at CEU, Oklahoma and Utah Valley.
Thompson told USUEasternathletics.com (formerly CEU) he was surprised to receive his invitation from the Jazz.
"It was totally unexpected," he said. "I am excited to be able to chase my dream. I feel like my biggest strength was my versatility as a big man and hopefully I can impress the Jazz organization."
Thompson helped the Golden Eagles take third at the 2010 NJCAA national tournament. He averaged 4.4 points and 3.3 rebounds his junior season at Oklahoma, and then contributed 9.9 ppg and 7.9 rpg as a senior at UVU while earning honorable mention Great West Conference recognition.
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