Video via Chris Forsberg, ESPNBoston.com
Former Rebel Stephen Zimmerman is in the middle of the pre-draft grind right now, as he’s spent much of the past three weeks traveling from city to city to work out for more than 10 different NBA teams. It’s a taxing schedule, but as Zimmerman told the assembled media after a workout with the Boston Celtics on Saturday, this was always the plan.
Widely considered to be a one-and-done prospect before the year began, Zimmerman confirmed that he came to UNLV with the intention of playing one season and then moving on to the NBA. He also noted that the Rebels’ coaching staff was on board with that agenda.
“Whenever I met up with the UNLV coaches at the beginning of the year they said, based on my skill level and my work ethic, if I didn’t leave after the first year then they did their job wrong,” Zimmerman said. “So I think it was kind of set from the beginning for me to intend to leave.”
Zimmerman was one of the most heavily hyped recruits in UNLV history, and he was productive during his lone season with the Rebels, as the 7-footer averaged 10.5 points and a team-high 8.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game while shooting 47.7 percent from the field. That performance, coupled with his physical measurables, was good enough to put him on the draft radar.
Since the end of the season, Zimmerman’s draft stock has fluctuated. Some mock draft sites have him pegged as a late first-round pick, while others have him as second-round fodder. Zimmerman has been hitting the workout circuit in an effort to solidify his status among NBA teams.
“I think I’ve been doing well,” he told the media on Saturday. “I’ve been getting to show some things that I wasn’t able to show at UNLV. And show my work ethic. I’m constantly going after rebounds and playing for that, so I think that’s a big thing for these teams.”