Potential back-up centers for the Los Angeles Lakers: 1. Cody Zeller
Cody Zeller is a free agent after this season so he is naturally a buyout candidate. Players who are going to hit the open market on bad teams are often bought out, usually to do the agent a favor and try and build some sort of relationship for the future.
It is a business. Sometimes, when you know you are not going to win games and you cannot trade the guy, you simply sever ties and let him pursue greener pastures for a future relationship.
That might be the case with Zeller. Zeller is making $11 million this season so it is hard to imagine a team being able to match that kind of salary to bring him in while also actually improving the team.
That hard hurdle to overcome is even harder due to the fact that Zeller fractured his hand in the first game of the season and was forced to have surgery. He is going to be out for 4-6 weeks.
By the time Zeller comes back and plays a few games the Hornets’ playoff hopes could be completely wiped (and likely will be). That accelerates the buyout process.
Zeller would be a nice, and slightly over-qualified, addition to the bench. He averaged 11.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game last season and would provide the height to be on the receiving end of lobs at seven-foot even.