Charlotte Bobcats rookie Cody Zeller will start at power forward in his first NBA preseason game, when the team hosts the Atlanta Hawks Tuesday.
Head coach Steve Clifford announced the starting lineup, with Zeller joining returning starters Kemba Walker, Gerald Henderson and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and free agent signing Al Jefferson. The Bobcats selected Zeller with the fourth overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft following an impressive pre-draft workout. The team is intrigued by his potential as a stretch forward and rates his intangibles at a premium.
It’s unknown whether the change will be permanent. Third-year center Bismack Biyombo has made 106 starts for the team in the past two seasons, but could be used as a reserve this season. Biyombo has averaged 5.0 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in his first two seasons.
Josh McRoberts is expected to play after limited participaton due to a toe injury. Brendan Haywood will sit out with a sprained foot.
Tuesday’s game will be held from the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville, NC. The Hawks will make their preseason debut tonight against the defending NBA Champion Miami Heat.
Information from the Charlotte Observer was used in this report.