(Tyler) Zeller doesn’t remember the first time he crossed paths with (Celtics Coach Brad) Stevens and jokes that, “I actually wasn’t very good at basketball at that point in time.”
He’s gotten decidedly better, emerging as the 17th pick in the 2012 draft. Now Stevens is hoping to maximize that potential in Boston, where a roster lacking pure size ought to give Zeller every opportunity to earn heavy minutes at the center position.
“I think [starting at center is] my goal this year,” said Zeller. “I have a lot of work to do to earn that spot. I expect to have to earn it. But I think it is a great opportunity.”
The first step in that process was bulking up this offseason. Zeller, who played at around 250 pounds in Cleveland last year, said he has added about 10 to 15 pounds with a desire to increase his ability to joust among the league’s giants.
Sources: Jameer Nelson Signs 1-Year Deal With Pelicans
Free-agent guard Jameer Nelson has agreed to a one-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, league sources told The Vertical.
Nelson entered free agency Wednesday, when the Denver Nuggets waived him to create roster space to sign Richard Jefferson and allow second-year guard Jamal Murray to assume the starting point-guard role.
Source: Shams Charania of The Vertical
Bobby Portis Apologizes to Bulls for Mirotic Fight
Bobby Portis has apologized to his Bulls teammates for getting into a fight that left Nikola Mirotic with facial fractures and a concussion. “He didn’t address us today, but he did address the team before so that was taken care of,” Bulls swingman Justin Holiday said after Friday’s practice.
Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg acknowledged that Portis’ apology took place during a team meeting but did not want to go into specific details about his message. “I’ll keep that between the team,” Hoiberg said, “as far as exactly what was said in that meeting.”
Source: Nick Friedell of ESPN
Joel Embiid Still Not Cleared for Back-to-Back Games
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid said he has not been cleared to play back-to-back games and does not expect to be in the lineup Saturday at Toronto.
Embiid was in the starting lineup for the home opener Friday night against the Boston Celtics, scoring 11 points to go along with 14 rebounds in 28 minutes as Philadelphia lost 102-92. Asked after Friday’s game if he was OK with not playing Saturday night, Embiid replied, “Um I’m not OK with it but we have a plan in place and we have to follow it.”