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Cleveland Cavaliers

Cavs trade up, select Tyler Zeller at No. 17

By Jason Lloyd Published: June 28, 2012
Zeller, Tyler
FILE - This Jan. 29, 2012 file photo shows North Carolina's Tyler Zeller (44) dunking over Georgia Tech's Daniel Miller during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Chapel Hill, N.C. Zeller is a possible pick in the NBA Draft on June 28. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

INDEPENDENCE: Cleveland has a new Z.

The Cavaliers traded up from No. 24 to select North Carolina senior center Tyler Zeller with the 17th pick in Thursday's draft. 

Zeller was a two-time ACC Player of the Year and could step in and start immediately. At 7 feet tall and 250 pounds, Zeller averaged 16.3 points and 9.6 rebounds as a senior. 

The Cavs traded the Mavericks the rest of their draft, Nos. 24, 33 and 34, to acquire Zeller.

He brings immediate size to a team that desperately needs it. Coach Byron Scott has said for two years he'd like to bring Anderson Varejao off the bench, but he's been forced to start him at center because of few other options.

Ryan Hollins was released late last season and Semih Erden is a free agent. The selection of Zeller should allow Tristan Thompson to shift back to his more natural position at power forward this season.

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