The Hornets have exercised their fourth-year option on Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and their third-year option for Cody Zeller, the team has announced. These moves don’t come as a surprise since both players factor heavily into Charlotte’s current rotation and their future plans as well. Kidd-Gilchrist is set to earn $6,331,404 in 2015/16, and Zeller will take home $4,204,200, which brings the team’s current total salary commitment for that season to approximately $33.2MM. That figure doesn’t take into account Al Jefferson‘s $13.5MM, nor Gerald Henderson‘s $6MM player options.
Kidd-Gilchrist was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, and he hasn’t quite lived up to being selected that high, averaging just 8.2 PPG, 5.6 RPG, and 1.2 APG for his career. His defense has always been a strength, but it’s on the offensive side of the game where Kidd-Gilchrist has lagged, with a career slash line of .464/.167/.682.
The 7’0″ Zeller was chosen with the fourth overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft and averaged 6.0 PPG and 4.3 RPG during his rookie campaign last season. His shooting numbers were .426/.000/.730, not an excellent percentage of makes for a player of his size. Zeller was the only player to appear in every game for Charlotte last season and was one of just two rookies to play in all 82 contests.