Tuesday June 21st, 2016

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The Magic selected UNLV forward Stephen Zimmerman with the No. 41 pick of the 2016 NBA draft on Thursday night at the Barclays Center. 

Zimmerman averaged 10.5 points and 8.7 rebounds during his freshman season with UNLV, after which he declared for the draft. 

Zimmerman was inconsistent throughout his solo college basketball campaign. The 7’0 center was hamstrung by injuries and a difficult situation at UNLV, as coach Dave Rice was fired in January. But Zimmerman was highly touted out of high school, and the Las Vegas native clearly has good potential. 

• 2016 NBA draft position rankings

Strengths: Zimmerman is the rare center who can shoot jumpers and block shots. He’s a lefty, who is comfortable facing up and shooting from midrange out to the three-point line. Zimmerman is a good athlete with some bounce, and can get up and down the floor. He has potential as a rim protector as well, and looks worthy of a late first–round selection. “A guy with his athleticism and length, at the very least he’ll be an NBA player,” one scout says. “He has those tools and is figuring out how to put it together.”

Weaknesses: Like many bigs in this draft, Zimmerman has a lot of filling out to do, and like many players in this class, period, he’s a project. He has a tendency to shy away from physicality and often prefers to shoot a face-up jumper rather than attack the basket or back people down. He’s going to get pushed around a bit. His right elbow also doesn’t bend all the way after he broke it when he was younger.

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