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This summer comes as new territory for Hornets center Cody Zeller as he’s set to hit the free agent market for the first time in his eight-year career.
But, what exactly is the former No. 4 pick of the 2013 draft looking for in his potential destination? Zeller appeared on a recent episode of ‘The Woj Pod’ with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and spoke on his desire to play for a winner.
“I think as I look at free agency, first of all, I want to win. I think it aligns with what I bring to the team and what I stand for,” Zeller said.
“In my mind, a team that’s top-four in their conference, they’re playing for home-court advantage, they aren’t playing to make the playoffs — they’re playing for home-court advantage and then anything can happen once you get in the playoffs.”
The type of team that Zeller described doesn't necessarily mirror the Hornets current situation, which makes you think Charlotte will be looking for a new starting center this offseason. For Zeller, looking for a contending situation may force him to sacrifice playing time -- and he knows that.
"I think I could have a huge impact as even a back-up center in free agency. So, I could either be a starting center on a fringe playoff team or a back-up center on a really, really good team competing for a top-four home court advantage in the conference," Zeller said.
"Even if that means me playing 15-20 minutes as the backup center on a team like that, that would be my ideal role in free agency." In eight seasons with the Hornets, Zeller has averaged 8.7 points and 6.0 rebounds. Last season, he started 21 of 48 games played, averaging 9.4 points and 6.8 rebounds.