Charlotte Hornets position review: Center

Cody Zeller has quietly been one of the most efficient big men in the NBA over the last three seasons and he still has room to grow. He blossomed into one of the most well-rounded centers in the league last season, showing that he can consistently rebound, score on the fast break, and set effective screens.

His screen setting is where his real talent lies, giving players like Kemba Walker the extra room needed to shoot their threes and in turn spread the floor out for more scoring opportunities. He only averaged 10. points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 0.9 blocks per game last year, which initially does not look like a lot, but it shows how involved he is when he’s on the floor.

The fact that Zeller will be coming off the bench is almost unfair due to his production on both ends of the court. Expect Zeller to grow even more this season, especially with the help he can get from Howard.

Dwight Howard

Everyone has talked and talked about it. At this point, we just have to wait for the start of the season. The acquisition of Dwight Howard has put Charlotte into the spotlight, as the 12-year veteran makes an impact on every team he plays for. Howard has averaged 17.5 points, 12.7 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game in his career. Cody Zeller‘s highest season average in four years is 10.3 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.

The statistical presence that Howard brings will be apparent no matter what, but his criticisms draw from whether he will contribute wins. Howard has always been able to produce but now he has an opportunity to win games with his favorite coach, Steve Clifford. The thought of Howard and Zeller on the floor together sounds incredible and rebounds for the opponent will become a commodity. This addition greatly strengthens the inside game, finally giving the Hornets what they have desperately needed.

Frank Kaminsky

Frank Kaminsky is a power forward on the roster, but when Zeller and Howard are off the floor he will fill in on the inside, so I am including him on this list. The third-year man out of Wisconsin has had an up-and-down career thus far, seeing his success come in small streaks. After the All-Star break last year, his game improved and leveled out to a quality stat line of .399% shooting from the field and 11.7 points per game in 2016. He is seeming to settle into his role as an NBA big men and supports the new wave of three-shooting bigs.

We could see a delightful season from Kaminsky this season if he can truly find his stroke and he has plenty to learn from both the players starting over him. He knows how to utilize his moves in the restricted zone and he can read defenders better than most of the players on the team. His ability to draw fouls is incredibly useful in close-game situations and hopefully, he will be able to harness that this year.

Yardbarker: NBA

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