Welcome to “Hoosiers within the NBA,” a player-by-player have a look at how IU basketball alums fared through the 2020-21 NBA common season. Immediately, the collection continues with Cody Zeller.
Zeller (48 video games): 9.4 factors, 6.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 55.9 FG%, 71.4 FT% in 20.9 minutes per sport
With eight skilled seasons now within the books, Cody Zeller has confirmed himself to be a productive and constant contributor within the Charlotte frontcourt.
The No. 4 decide within the 2013 NBA draft, Zeller has dealt along with his justifiable share of accidents over 467 profession video games for the Hornets. This season was no totally different for Zeller, who began 21 of the 48 video games he appeared in, however missed time with a damaged hand early within the season after which had setbacks with each a hip and shoulder harm. However when Zeller was on the ground, he as soon as once more supplied worth as a rim-running huge who at all times performs with lots of vitality.
Zeller’s mobility has at all times been one among his robust fits as a seven-footer. In a league that has gone away from facilities that park themselves within the put up, the Indiana product is at his finest taking part in out of pick-and-rolls or when he can get a full head of steam in direction of the rim. There was no higher instance of this than his posterization of Giannis Antetokounmpo again in late January.
After making an attempt to stretch his sport out past the 3-point line final season with blended outcomes, Zeller didn’t hoist almost as many triples in his eighth season. Final season, he tried a career-high 75 makes an attempt from distance and related on simply 24 p.c of these makes an attempt. This season, he took solely 28 3-pointers, making simply 4.
Zeller was very environment friendly, nonetheless, from contained in the arc. He shot a career-best 59.2 p.c on 2s and he additionally posted profession bests in each offensive rebounding (12.6) and defensive rebounding (22.9) proportion. His participant effectivity score, also called PER, was 18.2, the second-best mark of his profession.
Regardless of Zeller having one among his finest seasons as an expert, Charlotte remained a staff that’s nonetheless recovering from the lack of Kemba Walker and a few dangerous contracts that damage their skill to amass expertise in free company in years previous. The Hornets made the NBA play-in spherical, shedding to the Indiana Pacers in embarrassing style earlier this week.
This offseason might be one among change for Zeller, who simply accomplished the final season of a four-year contract extension that paid him a complete of $56 million. Zeller’s wage of $15.4 million will come off the books for the Hornets, who ought to have some cap house to try to construct round their core of gamers that features Gordon Hayward, LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier and PJ Washington. Zeller will probably be top-of-the-line facilities available on the market this summer season in what’s shaping as much as be an underwhelming crop of free brokers.
Backside Line: After posting two of his finest seasons as a professional, Zeller will enter unrestricted free company for the primary time this summer season. He’s already earned greater than $72 million in his profession, offering proof that you just don’t need to be a star to earn life-changing cash within the NBA. Zeller ought to nonetheless have many productive years forward of him within the NBA, but it surely’ll be fascinating to see if he’ll search a change of surroundings and head to a vacation spot which may be extra conducive to profitable. Zeller has performed in simply 11 playoff video games over his eight seasons with the Hornets.
Quotable: “It’s powerful to not solely keep in mind the final sport, I don’t know what we misplaced, eight of 9 or 9 of 10 or no matter is… I feel that’s what I’m going to recollect. We had a superb begin to the season. Clearly, lots of accidents. Dropping Gordon (Hayward) was big. We misplaced LaMelo (Ball) for a stretch. I used to be out a bit bit to start out the season. However I assumed we had sufficient expertise. So it’s disappointing to see our season finish early. I feel we had sufficient expertise to a minimum of be in that playoff combine — six (seed), seven a minimum of, taking part in within the first spherical.” – Zeller after Charlotte’s season ending loss to the Pacers within the NBA play-in spherical.