Two center options have agreed to terms, but the Jazz will have casting decisions to be made in the coming days.
On Tuesday, the Jazz made moves to provide center options for new coach Will Hardy.
First, the Jazz signed Cody Zeller, former No. 4 pick of 2013, to a boot camp deal. So, they agreed to the terms of a two-way contract with former Ohio State and Wisconsin center Micah Potter, according to a report in the Atletico.
Zeller, 29, signed a minimal contract with Portland last year but pulled out of the NBA after suffering a knee injury that required surgery. Trail Blazers let him go in early February. But before that, Zeller had a productive 8-year career with the Charlotte Hornets, starting 273 games, averaging 13.7 points and 9.7 rebounds in 36 minutes.
Zeller starred in Indiana in college. Two of Zeller’s brothers, Luke and Tyler Zeller, also played in the NBA. According to Basketball Reference, 7-foot Zeller’s nickname is “The Big Handsome”.
Potter, meanwhile, played four seasons in the Big Ten between 2016 and 2021 for Ohio State, then Wisconsin. In his senior season, the 6-10 big man averaged 12.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game for the Badgers. Last year, Potter played for Sioux Falls Skyforce, averaging 14.4 points and 10.6 rebounds per game; he also signed a 10-day contract with the Detroit Pistons, playing in three games for a total of 31 minutes. He’s a big man, shooting 38% of three in college and 39% in the G League.
The centers join a very shallow center rotation for Utah: rookie Walker Kessler and third-year player Udoka Azubuike were the only traditional centers on the list before Tuesday. New Acquisition Jarred Vanderbilt and veteran Rudy Gay played center in his career, but never played there full-time.
Zeller’s future, particularly with the Jazz, may depend on future negotiations the organization makes. In particular, the team currently has 17 players on guaranteed contracts, while the team will need to reduce to 15 when the season arrives in mid-October. If the Jazz let him go, they could keep their G-League rights, and Zeller could be on standby while playing for the Salt Lake City Stars, should he choose that path.
Meanwhile, Potter takes over the two-way spot that was opened up when the Jazz let go of Xavier Sneed last week.