Cody Zeller has found a new home in the NBA. The former Indiana star who spent his first eight years with the Charlotte Hornets is heading west to play in Portland.
Zeller, who played two seasons at Indiana from 2011 through 2013, signed a one-year deal with the Trail Blazers. The news was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Zeller was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft and spent his entire career with the Hornets, averaging 8.7 points and 6.0 rebounds in 22.7 minutes per game for his career.
Last year he appeared 48 times for the Hornets, starting 21 games. He averaged 20.9 minutes, 9.4 points, and 6.8 rebounds per game, shooting 55.9% from the field after coming back from a hand injury sustained the first week of the season that required surgery.
Zeller has dealt with injury issues throughout his career, and missed substantial playing time in several seasons. He played every game as a rookie, but has never played more than 62 games in a season since. In the past five years, he's averaged just 50 games per season.
He averaged double figures three times, with his best season coming in 2019-20, when he averaged 11.1 points and 7.1 rebounds for the season, and both were career highs.
That's why the hand injury was disappointing for Zeller, who was looking for a big year in the final year of a four-year, $56 million contract. He was injured in the season opener at Cleveland and missed a month after surgery.
During his two years at Indiana, he averaged 15.6 points per game as a freshman, and 16.5 as a sophomore. He was the first major recruit in the Tom Crean era, and was a key piece of the 2012-13 team that was ranked No. 1 in the country at one point and won a Big Ten regular season title.
He also appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated's college basketball preview.
Zeller, who will be 29 in October, was Indiana Mr. Basketball in 2011 after a brilliant high school career that included three Class 3A state championships. His two older brothers, Tyler and Luke, also were Mr. Basketball winners.
Zeller has scored 4,062 career points in the regular season. He is the all-time leading scorer in the Zeller family. Tyler finished his eight-year NBA career with 2,873 points.
Zeller was a guest on Wojnarowski's podcast last week and had plenty to say about his career, being drafted in 2013 and what comes next.
To listen to the complete podcast, CLICK HERE