Cody Zeller has been in the NBA since 2013, but since the Hornets center signed a rookie scale extension in 2016 that tacked four years onto his four-year rookie contract, he has never been a free agent. Zeller, an unrestricted free agent this offseason, acknowledged that it’ll be a new experience for him, as Sam Perley of Hornets.com details.
“It’s crazy – my first free agency,” Zeller said. “I’ve only played for one team, so I don’t know how it’ll go or even logistically how it goes. I am eight years into my career and who knows how much longer I’m going to do this.
“I think the biggest thing is just being somewhere where I’m valued. I just want to win. I think we can make that step here if we’re all healthy and make that jump to becoming a competitive team that can make a deep run.”
Although Zeller referred to Charlotte as “home” and said he’s had a “great eight years” with the Hornets, he recognizes that his future is somewhat up in the air. The Hornets have identified center as a position they want to upgrade, so if they bring in a new big man or two, it’s possible there won’t be a spot for Zeller.
Here’s more from around the Southeast:
- Hawks swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic (right knee soreness) and Cam Reddish (right Achilles soreness) have both been listed as questionable for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference on Wednesday, tweets Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. Bogdanovic has started every game of the playoffs so far for Atlanta, while Reddish has yet to make his postseason debut.
- After winning just 20 games a year ago, the Hawks are an unlikely final-four team, but they’ve succeeded this season by finding the exact contributions they need from every corner of their roster, says Rob Mahoney of The Ringer.
- The degree of difficulty for the Magic‘s rebuild increased a little on Tuesday, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic. As Robbins writes, Orlando was fortunate to get the No. 8 pick from Chicago, but the team’s own pick slipping outside the top four will make it more challenging to land a future All-Star in the 2021 draft.
- Heat center Dewayne Dedmon said at season’s end that he’d like to remain in Miami. Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald takes a look at whether that’s a realistic possibility.