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Cody Zeller, Jazz Reportedly Agree to Contract Ahead of Training Camp

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 20, 2022

Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The Utah Jazz no longer have Rudy Gobert to anchor their frontcourt, but they reportedly added some depth Tuesday.

According to Shams Charania and Tony Jones of The Athletic, the Western Conference team agreed to a deal with free-agent center Cody Zeller.

Zeller is probably still best known for his collegiate career at Indiana that lasted two seasons (2011-13). His collegiate resume includes a consensus All-American selection, Big Ten Rookie of the Year and an All-Big Ten selection as he led the Hoosiers to back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances.

That was enough for the Charlotte Bobcats to select him with the No. 4 overall pick of the 2013 NBA draft.

While he was an All-Rookie Second Team selection, he never fully lived up to the expectations that came with such a draft designation. He spent eight seasons with the Bobcats/Hornets and averaged 8.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game.

Zeller spent the 2021-22 season on the Portland Trail Blazers after they signed him to a one-year deal, but he appeared in just 27 games and underwent surgery on his knee in January. His health concerns were part of a disappointing season for Portland, as it finished 27-55 and missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2012-13 campaign.

The Indiana product averaged 5.2 points and 4.6 rebounds in 13.1 minutes per game when he was on the floor for the Trail Blazers.

While this figures to be a rebuilding season for a Utah franchise that traded Gobert and Donovan Mitchell this offseason, it still needs frontcourt depth heading into training camp.

Zeller will provide just that and figures to compete for playing time alongside Lauri Markkanen, Udoka Azubuike and Jarred Vanderbilt as a rotational piece.

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