Charlotte Hornets big man Cody Zeller will miss the next six weeks due to a torn meniscus in his left knee, according to recent reports.
Bobby Marks explained that the Hornets could sign a player to replace Zeller while he is injured (via ESPN):
“Charlotte does have a roster spot available and are $1.8 [million] below the tax. Signing a player to a prorated non-guaranteed minimum would keep the Hornets under.”
Players like Tiago Splitter, Emeka Okafor and Anderson Varejao are among the possible candidates who could fill in for Zeller. However, we also looked at others who may be available that have established connections to the organization.
Roy Hibbert was on the roster for Charlotte last season and has familiarity with their system and staff.
The two-time All-Star was once All-Defensive 1st Team and just turned 31 years old. He is currently out of the league, but he’s still one of the younger, more skilled big men without a job in the NBA.
Kwame Brown played for the Wizards under head coach Eddie Jordan from 2003 until 2005. Michael Jordan, now the owner of the Hornets, was a player and executive for the team.
He worked with Steve Hetzel, now an assistant with Charlotte, when Hetzel was a player development coach for the Pistons from 2008 until 2010. Brown then played for the Bobcats (now the Hornets) during the 2010-11 season.
When he recently played for the BIG3 basketball league, his team made the Finals and he played well all season.
Jordan Hill played for the Los Angeles Lakers when Clifford then an assistant coach. Eddie Jordan was also an assistant for Los Angeles.
Hill was “on their radar” during the recent offseason. He was the No. 8 overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft and was teammates with Charlotte big man Dwight Howard on the Lakers.
Hill, 30, played seven games for the Minnesota Timberwolves last season. The year before, he logged 20.7 minutes per game in 73 appearances for the Indiana Pacers.
Brandon Bass was on the Magic when Clifford was an assistant from 2009 until 2011. He was teammates with Howard for both seasons he played in Orlando.
However, Howard was reportedly not close “never enamored” with Bass during their tenure together.
Others With Connections
Samuel Dalembert – He played for the Sixers under then-head coach Eddie Jordan (2009-10).
Glen Davis – He played for the Magic under then-assistant Clifford (2011-12).
Charlie Villanueva – He played for the Pistons when current assistant Hetzel was a player development coach (2009-2013).