The Charlotte Hornets have agreed to a four-year, $56 million extension with forward Cody Zeller, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.
Charlotte had discussed terms of the extension with Cody Zeller and his representatives throughout the day, with reports originally suggesting they were unlikely to reach a deal.
Hornets general manager Rich Cho and owner Michael Jordan have prioritized signing players to extensions in recent years, with the team previously extending the contracts of Kemba Walker, Jeremy Lamb and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist before coming to terms with Zeller this year.
“Maintaining and building our young core of players has been a key goal for us the last few years,” Rich Cho said. “We’re excited that Cody will be part of the Hornets organization for years to come. Cody is a hard worker, a team-first player and a versatile talent that was a large part of our success last year. He has improved in each of his three seasons in the NBA. We look forward to a bright future with Cody as a part of the roster that we are continuing to build.”
Zeller, 24, is a budding young frontcourt piece valued heavily by the Hornets. He’s made significant strides in improving his overall game since being drafted, posting career-highs in several categories last season.
In 73 games with the Hornets last year, Zeller averaged 8.7 points and 6.2 rebounds in 24.3 minutes per contest. After shooting 43% and 46% during his first two seasons in the league, he also managed to raise his percentage to a career-best 53% from the field.
Many league observers are praising the Hornets’ move of extending Zeller for such a friendly price, with the salary cap only getting higher as time moves forward. For roughly $14 million per season, Zeller’s new deal with Charlotte is viewed by many as a bargain.