Cody Zeller

Miami Heat #44
Position: Center​
2022-2023 Season Stats
Salary: $743,922

Cody Allen Zeller, born on October 5, 1992, is an American basketball player playing for the Miami of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for Indiana Hoosiers.

Zeller was selected with the 4th overall pick in the NBA Draft 2013 by the then-Charlotte Bobcats. He is the brother of NBA players Taylor and Luke & the nephew of former NBA player Al Eberhard.

Table of Contents

A career in High School

During his first year, Zeller averaged 2.5 points and 1.4 rebounds per game as his team, the Washington Axes, won the Class Triple-A IHSAA state championship.

In his sophomore season, he averaged 15.0 points and 6.8 rebounds. In his junior season, Zeller led Washington to the Class Triple-A state championship, averaging 20.5 points and 11.4 rebounds.

After that season, he was named an Indiana Junior All-Star. In his senior year, Zeller averaged 24.6 points, 13.1 rebounds, and 3.3 assists while leading the Hatchets to the Class Triple-A IHSAA state championship, his third career title. Zeller led the Indiana Senior All-Stars to a two-game sweep of the Kentucky All-Stars. He played AAU basketball for the Indiana Elite program and, in the summer of 2010, led the USA 2011 team to the Adidas National Championships in Chicago.

After his senior season, Zeller was named Indiana’s Mr. Basketball, the state’s highest honor for a high school player, and two of his older brothers also received the award. Zeller became the 26th Indiana Mr. Basketball player for an Indiana team. He was a 2011 McDonald’s All-American with 10 points, three rebounds, and three assists in the nationally acclaimed All-Star Game. Other honors Zeller received during high school included first-team All-State awards from the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association, Indiana Gatorade Player of the Year, and second-team Parade All-American honors. According to the source, Zeller ranked 13th among the best rookies in 2011. ranked him No. 12 nationally at No. 3, while ranked him No. 15 nationally at No. 4.

Career in College

On November 12, 2010, Zeller committed to playing for Indiana University, turning down North Carolina and Butler’s offers. Because of his commitment, he was labeled “the savior of Indiana basketball.” Tom Crean, the coach at the time, noted, “He was the most mentally focused kid I ever recruited. I saw a young man with a mental toughness that wasn’t normal.” Ze Le was nicknamed “Big Handsome” at Indiana University.

Freshman season

In his first year with Indiana in 2011-12, Zeller led the team with 15.6 points & 6.6 rebounds per game, shooting 62.3 percent (200 of 321) and 75.5 percent from the field. (163 of 216 shots) at the free throw line. He ranks fourth nationally in field goal percentage, leads the Big Ten, and ranks second in school history—his offensive rating of 126.8 ranks 14th in the nation. Zeller was voted Big Ten Freshman of the Year by the coaches after being named “Big Ten Freshman of the Week” seven times. He was also a Big Ten second-team and first-team All-American freshman. Zeller was a finalist for the Wayman Tisdale Award (USBWA National Freshman of the Year) & a candidate for the John Wooden Award and the Oscar Robertson Trophy.

With Zeller on board, the Hoosiers added 15 games to their 2011-12 record, the largest single-game comeback in the NCAA that year. The Indians were the fourth seed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, defeating New Mexico State in the 2nd round. After defeating VCU in the 3rd round, the Hoosiers lost to eventual national champion Kentucky in the Sweet Sixteen.

Sophomore season

Despite projecting a top-10 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Zeller decided to return to Indiana for his sophomore season with teammate Christian Watford. In a statement released by the Indiana Athletic Department, Zeller said: “I grew up hoping that one day I would have the opportunity to play in the (National Basketball Association) NBA, but at this point, I’m not ready to wrap up my college experience. This year’s collegiate experience at IU has exceeded my expectations on and off the field.

I look forward to playing next year at Assembly Hall in front of some of the greatest fans in the country.”

Thanks partly to Zeller’s leadership, the Indiana Hoosiers became a distinguished Big Ten champion in 2012-13. He finished the regular season as the league’s third-highest scorer (16.8 points) and second-highest rebounder (8.2). He finished second in the league on 57 percent shooting and second in the Big Ten behind Teammate Victor Oladipo.

Zeller has amassed numerous playoff awards. He was named a 2013 All-American by USBWA (2nd team) and The Sporting News (3rd team). He was also named first-team All-Big Ten All-Big Ten and first-team Academics All-American by coaches and the media.

At the end of his sophomore season, He decided to participate in the 2013 NBA draft with teammate Victor Oladipo.

Professional career

Charlotte Bobcats / Hornets (2013–2021)

  • 2013–16: All-Rookie honors and later years

NBA Draft 2013, Zeller was selected by the Charlotte Bobcats as the fourth overall pick in the first round. On July 10, 2013, he signed a rookie contract with the Bobcats.

On March 31, 2014, Zeller scored a season-high 15 pts against the Washington Wizards. On April 5, 2014, he scored 12 points and 11 rebounds against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the first double-double of his career. Zeller played in all 82 regular-season games & all four of Charlotte’s postseason games. He is the NBA All-Rookie Second Team at the end of the season.

On November 28, 2014, Zeller had 15 points & 14 rebounds against the Golden State Warriors. On January 31, 2015, Zeller scored a season-high 21 points in a 104-86 win against the Denver Nuggets.

On February 19, 2016, He scored a career-high 23 pts in a 98-95 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. He has five double-doubles this season.

  • 2016–21: Double-digit streaks and career-highs

Despite missing the entire preseason with an injury on his right knee, Zeller played in the Hornets’ season opener last October 26, 2016, scoring 15 points on 5-for-6 shooting in 14 minutes to help the Hornets to a 107- 96 to beat the Bucks. He signed a four-year, $56 million extension with the Hornets five days later. On November 18, 2016, Zeller tied a career-high with 23 points in a 100–96 against the Atlanta Hawks. He averaged 10.3 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in the 2016-17 season, setting career highs.

Zeller played in the Hornets’ season opener before missing the next four games. Last December 6, 2017, in a 101-87 loss to the GSW, Zeller tore the medial meniscus of his left knee with 49 seconds left in the third quarter. As a result, he missed 27 games, returning on February 2 against the Indiana Pacers. Zeller missed the February 28 and March 2 games due to left knee soreness. He later missed the final sixteen games of the season with soreness in his knee. Due to injury, he played a career-low 33 games in the 2017–18 season.

On November 28, 2018, Zeller scored a then-season-high 19 points in a 108-94 win against the Hawks. On December 14, in an overtime 126-124 loss to the Knicks, Zeller set season highs in points (21 points) and rebounds (13 points), which were career highs. His first game of 20 points and ten rebounds was also his first double-double. It also marked his third consecutive double-figure score. On December 31, Zeller fractured his right hand in a game against the Orlando Magic. He rules out for four to six weeks after undergoing surgery. After missing 16 games, Zeller returned on February 5 against the Los Angeles Clippers. On February 25, he made 13 of 14 shots and scored a career-high 28 points in a 121-110 loss to the Warriors.

Portland Trail Blazers (2021–2022)

On August 4, 2021, Zeller signed with the Portland Trail Blazers. Due to the CJ McCollum trade, he was dismissed on February 8, 2022.

On September 25, 2022, Zeller signed with the Utah Jazz. On October 15, he was dismissed from office.

Miami Heat (2023–present)

On February 20, 2023, Zeller signed with the Miami Heat.


In college, analysts described Zeller as “the perfect blend of mobility, scoring instinct, and aggression” and “a speedy and fluid big man who runs the floor and Has the explosiveness to play often above the rim.” Zeller is also known for his “high basketball IQ” and unselfish game. Other commentators noted his “high mobility” and that he was “the best screen-and-roll frontcourt player in college basketball…he rushes to screens, reads slips, and has a great pair of Great hands. He’s hard to block and can play from the post and the baseline.”

Personal Life

Zeller, from Washington, Indiana, is the nephew of former NBA player Al Eberhard. He is the younger brother of former North Carolina and NBA center Tyler Zeller and former University of Notre Dame and Phoenix Suns forward Luke Zeller. Despite the pressure of unusually high expectations, critics noted his humility, work ethic, and “dry wit and mischievous laughter.” In May 2017, Zeller graduated from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.