Votto mentioned this idea in another post.
Aside from being 3 inches taller, exactly why would we want to let Speights go and keep Zeller? I see no basketball reason why this is a good idea. Zeller has disappointed to say the least this season. I understand he’s a rookie, but he’s a very OLD rookie who has shown little to no polish on his game.
He can’t hit the 15 footer we want. He has to be the worst rebounding 7 footer in the NBA. He can’t score ISO, he can’t defend well, and he doesn’t pass well out of the post. I understand he will improve but if you want to make a playoff push next year Zeller is not the one we need to keep in the lineup.
Speights is the stretch 4 or 5 we have been looking for, he can hit that jumper after setting a pick consistently. This is more or less what we want Zeller to eventually become one day. Mo can do this right now at 6"10. Is 3 inches really worth the 3-4 years it takes to turn Zeller into a player? Is this a cap thing?
Maybe I’m too low on Zeller, but I don’t see him making the same jump TT made from year 1-2. He is several years older than TT and far less athletic. If we see Zeller taking 2-3 years to improve, I say give Speights the three year extension he wants, and let Zeller learn in practice and/or while playing 15 minutes a game