Traveling from one NBA city to the next while participating in pre-draft workouts, Tyler Zeller has had to forsake something most young adults cannot live without the Internet.
It's a decision based on economics more than a desire to avoid the World Wide Web lately.
"You've got to pay for it, and hotels aren't too cheap," Zeller said.
Also, the senior center from North Carolina said his sabbatical from the Internet during the past three weeks prevents him from getting caught up in the hype that goes with the draft process.
Zeller was part of a six-player workout Tuesday at the Kings' practice facility. If he is true to his word, there won't be a Facebook status update about his workout with the Kings that included forwards JaMychal Green (Alabama), Wendell Mc- Kines (New Mexico State), and guards Lazeric Jones (UCLA), Charlie Westbrook (South Dakota) and William Buford (Ohio State).
Zeller is considered one of the top centers available in the June 28 draft, and of the six players at Tuesday's workout, he was the only player certain to be drafted in the first round.
As a bonus, Zeller received some extra pointers from Kings coach Keith Smart after the workout. Smart discussed the nuances of pick-and-roll offense in the NBA, something Zeller would have to learn as he adjusts to the pro game.
"We ran pick-and-roll (at North Carolina), but we didn't run a lot of them," Zeller said. "Obviously, three quarters of the NBA possessions are pick-and-rolls."
Zeller (7-foot, 247 pounds) averaged 16.3 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots last season for North Carolina. But his perimeter skills as Zeller discussed with Smart will need to improve for the Tar Heel to play in the NBA.
College centers can camp in front of the rim in zone defenses. In the NBA, Zeller will have to be able to play away from the basket.
That would be important if the Kings were to select Zeller with the fifth pick in the first round. Zeller, however, isn't projected as a top-five pick, but any big man drafted by the Kings will need to have solid perimeter skills to play with center DeMarcus Cousins.
"It's something I'm definitely working on," Zeller said. "I never showed it a lot in college, but I've always kind of had it. So I'm working on getting better at it."
It's possible Zeller could be the only senior selected by one of the 14 lottery teams. At 22, Zeller is one of the older top prospects.
Some players decide to leave college early before their weakness is exposed or they suffer an injury. Zeller had his best season as a senior after dealing with injuries as a freshman and sophomore. Zeller said he also gained 40 pounds in college, which will help him compete against bigger bodies in the NBA.
"I think I can continue to progress tremendously," Zeller said. "I've got a lot of abilities I worked on through college, I just never really showed because I got double teamed very quickly. In one-on-one situations, I can show much more."
Weber State's Damian Lillard, considered the best point guard in the draft, is scheduled for an individual workout today at the Kings' practice facility. Thursday, Connecticut freshman Andre Drummond, considered the top center in the draft, will work out.