Could Cody Zeller be dealt to the Rockets in a Russell Westbrook deal?

Cody Zeller #40 of the Charlotte Hornets (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Cody Zeller #40 of the Charlotte Hornets (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

Charlotte Hornets center Cody Zeller spoke about the trade rumors between the Hornets and the Houston Rockets, which could have him sent to Houston.

The Houston Rockets have reportedly engaged with numerous teams in a deal for Russell Westbrook, as the star guard has reportedly made the front office aware of his desire to leave the franchise. The situation has been ever-changing, as we’ve heard that Westbrook doesn’t want to play with James Harden anymore, which he denied.

We’ve heard that the Rockets had no original plans of making a major trade this offseason, and we’ve also heard that the Rockets haven’t lined up a trade for Westbrook thus far. One of the teams that have expressed interest in the 2016-17 MVP has been the Charlotte Hornets, who have essentially been unable to land a superstar, in part due to their small market and their lack of  funds, and/or endorsement deals off the court.

Any deal that the Hornets make would seem to include Cody Zeller, who is set to make $15.4 million next season. On Saturday, Zeller joined Sirius XM Radio to discuss the speculation regarding Russell Westbrook and the possibility of him joining the Houston Rockets.

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Zeller discusses Houston Rockets trade speculation regarding Westbrook

“I find out the news the same way everybody else does, on Twitter. We’ve gotten to know each other a little bit, both being Jordan athletes. So whatever happens happens.

I’ve been in this league long enough to not really worry about it. There’s so many rumors that fly around. I’m playing in Charlotte until they tell me to go play somewhere else, and that’s the way I look at it.”

The Rockets are certainly in need of a center, and the 28-year-old 7-footer can provide some value, as he posted averages of 11.1 points and 7.1 rebounds during the 2019-20 season, which was nearly identical to his 2018-19 averages of 10.1 points and 6.8 rebounds.

Perhaps the best value Zeller would bring to the Rockets is in regards to his contractual status, as he’s on an expiring deal, which would give the Rockets more flexibility during the 2021 offseason, which figures to be a deep class.

Zeller would certainly not be the only person to be moved in a deal involving Westbrook. as the salaries won’t match, and the Rockets would be unwise to make such a move a la carte, even if the salaries did match.

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But we could possibly find out shortly, as the Rockets are reportedly under the assumption that they need to make a move sooner rather than later.