The deal doesn’t include any options (team or player) and it seems more team friendly than other extensions from around the league. Zeller has been with Charlotte since being drafted by them with the fourth overall pick in 2013. He has improved each season with the team and is coming off of a career year last season.
By signing Zeller to a contract extension during the season, the Hornets will now avoid going through the dreaded restricted free agent process this summer. Cody would have been able to sign a big offer sheet with another NBA team. Then Charlotte would have needed to decide if they wanted to match it or let Cody walk.
The 24-year old averaged 8.7 points per game and 6.2 rebounds per game in 73 games last season with Charlotte. In three games with the Hornets this year, he is averaging 10.7 points per game, 5.0 rebounds per game, and 1.7 blocks per game.
After becoming the Hornets’ starting center last season, Cody is now in a battle for minutes with Roy Hibbert this year. Whether or not he starts, Zeller will be a key piece in Steve Clifford’s system. He was only one of a number of big men to sign extensions including Rudy Gobert and Steven Adams.
With the extension now signed, it is one less weight on the Charlotte Hornets and Cody Zeller’s mind. The athletic big man will be with the team four four more years as he looks to continue his development.