North Carolina center Tyler Zeller was in Oakland on Monday, working out for the Warriors in advance of the June 28 NBA draft.Zeller, 7-feet and 255 pounds, was part of a group that also included Baylors Perry Jones III, Kentuckys Terrence Jones and Vanderbilts Festus Ezeli.Zeller averaged 16.3 points and 9.6 rebounds per game as a senior for the Tar Heels, and he runs the floor extremely well for a big man. Zeller was the ACC player of the year as a senior, the first Tar Heel to do so since Phil Ford in 1978.The Warriors have the No. 7 pick in the draft, and could use the selection on Zeller. However, most mock drafts have Zeller going after the Warriors select at No. 7.A more likely scenario involving Zeller would be for the Warriors to trade their No. 7 pick and move back a few slots, with the possibility of selecting Zeller in the teens or so.Zeller has a nice outside touch, and said on Monday that he is beginning to add an NBA 3-pointer to his game.
For his latest trick, Steve Kerr brought out a deck of cards Friday night in Oakland.
With Kevin Durant and Draymond Green out against the Bulls, Kerr was ready to announce who would replace them. Get your phones ready reporters.
"You guys ready to tweet?" Kerr asked reporters. "We're gonna start Omri and Jordan Bell."
Kerr then began to shuffle his deck of cards and said, "As soon as you're down tweeting, we'll resume human contact. But in the meantime, stare at your phones, ignore me, I'm just practicing my shuffling."
Casspi, in his first year with the Warriors, is averaging 5.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game through 15 games. The rookie Bell has played in 12 games and is averaging 3.2 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.
Friday night is Bell's first career start.
Kerr's pregame prop list now includes a nail clipper, a Rubbik's cube, a slinky, and playing cards.
OAKLAND -- The massive task of replacing All-Star forwards Kevin Durant and Draymond Green in the Warriors lineup Friday night against the Bulls falls to veteran Omri Casspi and rookie Jordan Bell.
It’s the first career start for Bell, who was a healthy scratch in each of the last three games. He will be facing the team that drafted him last June specifically to sell his rights to the Warriors for $3.5 million.
“I’ve been wanting to get him active and play him anyway,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said prior to tipoff. “But with Draymond out, to me, it’s a pretty easy choice.”
Bell indicated he would not be particularly motivated against the team that drafted him, adding that he won’t be seeking any sort of vindication.
“They made it clear that they didn’t want me, so I don’t take it to heart,” Bell said after shootaround Friday morning. “They didn’t draft me and sell me. They just drafted me for the Warriors.”
Though Durant is out to rest his left ankle, sprained last Saturday in Philadelphia, Green simply has been given the night off. Kerr indicated there will be other occasions for which he will rest Green.
Durant missed only one game last week but returned Wednesday at Oklahoma City. His ankle did not respond well in the wake of that game, so he gets another day off.
Casspi replaced Durant in the starting lineup last Sunday at Brooklyn, producing 12 points, eight rebounds and two blocks over 23 minutes.
This is the first absence of the season for Green. It won’t be the last, as Kerr plans to rest all starters at various points of the season.