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Pacers Draft Possibilities - Pick #57: Brian Zoubek

With the NBA Draft fast approaching, and the Early Entry List set, it's time to examine more in depth some of the players who could be available for each of the Pacers three picks. (I am operating under the assumption Dallas will be sending us their 2nd round pick this year, not next, to complete the Shawne Williams deal. June 1st is the final deadline for Dallas to decide.)

Obviously, the Pacers 1st Round pick is the most exciting and has the most potential for value. As we need a lot of improvement in all areas, I will be looking at players who should be available for all three picks. My plan is to post two profiles a day, for 2nd rounders, until the Draft Lottery on May 18th. After the team's first round position is finalized, I'll begin profiling 1st Rounders.

These profiles cover players I believe have some value to offer the Pacers next season and in the future. These profiles are not intended to advocate for one player over another, just examine their strengths and weaknesses, and discuss in some detail what they have to offer. For each profile I provided Ten Important Statistics to guide the discussion. When discussing how each player can help the Pacers I will try to specifically reference the team needs I identified in Setting the Table for the Pacers Summer. Here is who we will be looking at today:

Brian Zoubek - C - 7'1"  250 lbs. - Duke University

 

Ten Important Stats - Brian Zoubek
Pts/40 Reb/40 Ast/40 Blk/40 eFG% FT% PF/40 ORB/40 TO/Pos Stl/40
12.0 16.6 2.1 1.7 64.0% 55.1% 7.4 7.7 0.24 1.4

Strengths -

  • With a pick at the end of the 2nd round, teams usually look for an undeveloped player with upside, or a developed player with obvious flaws but at least one NBA caliber skill. Zoubek fits in the second category and the skill is rebounding. Last season he put up one of the top ten offensive rebounding seasons of the last decade. (It's interesting that players responsible for 4 of those top ten season are also available in this draft: Brian Zoubek, Dexter Pittman, Kenneth Faried, and DeMarcus Cousins.) Simply put, Zoubek is a dominant rebounder and has the ability to be a significant contributor in this facet at the next level.
  • He has an NBA ready body, and physical profile.
  • Zoubek sets has a high basketball IQ, sets strong picks, and knows how to play good team basketball.

Weaknesses -

  • Zoubek has a long history of of nagging injuries.
  • Although he uses size and strength well at the defensive end, he is a foul machine averaging 7.4 fouls per 40 minutes. He will have to seriously improve in this area to spend any time on the floor in the NBA. Zoubek also lacks footspeed and may struggle defending the pick and roll.
  • Zoubek is extremely limited offensively. Jonathan Givony, of Draftexpress, noted last week in a podcast, a Synergy Sports analysis showed that Zoubek had only taken one jumpshot all season. He doesn't have much in the way of post moves, scoring almost exclusively on put-backs and dunks.
  • Zoubek shot free throws at an 82.1% rate his junior year, but inexplicably dipped to 55.1% this past season.

How he can help the Pacers -

  • Zoubek's appeal is pretty simple: big body, 6 fouls per game, great rebounder.
  • In the short term he could provide a huge rebounding upgrade and tough interior defense, even if it's just be providing hard fouls.
  • In the long term, maybe he can develop a 12-15ft. jump shot. Then he starts to look a little more like Jeff Foster, a tough, smart scrapper who does the little things to help the team win.

More Information -