CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte Bobcats selected Indiana center Cody Zeller with the No. 4 pick in the NBA draft.
Bobcats general manager Rich Cho said earlier in the week the team needed a big man and the 7-foot, 240-pound Zeller should provide some needed help in the low post and on the boards.
The Bobcats finished last in the league in defensive rebound percentage last season.
Zeller averaged 16.5 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.3 blockers per game as a sophomore for the Hoosiers last season. He finished as Indiana's career record holder in field goal percentage, shooting 59.1 percent from the floor.
It marked the first time ever two Hoosiers were selected in the top four picks in the NBA draft; Victor Oladipo was selected second overall by Orlando.
"I was just kidding my agent because he didn't bail me out," Zeller said. "He didn't tell me. I didn't know until David Stern announced it. It's a crazy process not knowing, but I'm definitely excited that I ended up with the Bobcats."
The Bobcats chose Zeller over two other available centers - Kentucky's Nerlens Noel and Maryland's Alex Len - as well as guard Ben McLemore from Kansas with the fourth selection. The Bobcats might have shied away from Noel and Len because of injury concerns.
Zeller was the only of the top seven picks to work out for Charlotte prior to the draft.
The Bobcats have struggled to find a post player for years and missed out last year on drafting center Anthony Davis when New Orleans won the No. 1 pick in the NBA lottery.
Byron Mullens and Brendan Heywood split time as the team's starting center early last year, but second-year pro Bismack Biyombo also saw action.
Zeller is considered a solid post player who runs the floor well but he might not be as athletic as the other centers the Bobcats passed over.