Since the start of the 2014-15 D-League season, there probably hasn't a more solid front-court player than Talib Zanna. Playing both seasons with the Oklahoma City Blue, Talib Zanna has averaged 13.6 points and 10.6 rebounds on 52% shooting. That high rebounding rate is especially impressive as Zanna stands as a relatively undersized 6'9, 230 pound forward. However, he's been able to overcome that by using athleticism and high basketball IQ to average an impressive 3.7 offensive rebounds in 28.3 minutes per game during those two years.
Coinciding with his terrific work on the offensive glass, Zanna has established himself as a great rim-running forward. Whether it's in transition or as the roll man in pick-and-rolls, Zanna's effective whether he's working with the ball or not. When he's driving off-ball, Zanna stands as a great target as he has big, soft hands that allows him to easily catch passes.
Zanna's aggression on the boards and fluidity as a rim-runner led him to be a part of the D-League Select Squad for Las Vegas Summer League. While the D-League Select team features a great crop of solid players that were either former NCAA standouts (Quinn Cook, Tu Holloway) or D-League champs (Jabril Trawick), Talib Zanna might stand as one of the more promising prospects on the team's roster.
That promise has turned into solid play for Zanna during his first two Summer League games. In 15.9 minutes per game, Zanna has averaged 10.0 points and 3.5 rebounds (1.5 offensive) per game on 66% shooting. While that doesn't seem spectacular, it's a very solid when you consider two factors: the limited playing time and talent he's gone against. Against the Grizzlies and Bucks, Zanna has been asked to go against former D-League All-Stars JaMychal Green and Alex Stephenson, alongside with NBA prospect Thon Maker.
Anytime that he's on the court, Zanna puts in 100% effort as he tries to make an impact on every possession. That high-effort level has allowed him to be one of the D-League's best players, as he's constantly there working on the offensive glass or just rolling towards the rim in transition.
If Zanna keeps that solid performance through the remainder of Summer League, he definitely should get some NBA looks. There are plenty NBA teams out there that look for a solid energy forward that can be asked to run in transition, work on the offensive glass and have a soft touch around the rim. As we've seen over the last two years with Zanna's performance with the OKC Blue or in Summer League, there might not be a better option out there.