Ante Zizic
23-Year-Old CenterC
Free Agent  Foreign  
2019 Fantasy Outlook
In his second NBA season, Zizic had the opportunity to play extended minutes with a Cavaliers team focused on the development of their young talent. The 22-year-old ended up appearing in 59 games for Cleveland last season and made 25 starts, averaging 7.8 points and 5.4 rebounds across 18.3 minutes per game. He was also efficient, making 55.3 percent of his shots from the field while more than doubling his attempts from his rookie season. Unless the Cavaliers feel like they have a team that can compete in the Eastern Conference, and therefore would give the likes of Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love heavier workloads, Zizic should get the opportunity to expand on his development in his third season as Cleveland continues to watch its young core grow. However, with Larry Nance Jr. and John Henson also in the fold, Zizic's minutes likely won't be much higher, if at all higher, than they were last season. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $5.88 million contract with the Celtics in July of 2017. Traded to the Cavaliers in August of 2017. Cavaliers exercised $2.28 million team option for 2019-20 in October of 2018. Cavaliers declined $3.87 million team option for 2020-21 in October of 2019.
Personal Bio

Ante Toni Zizic was born in 1997 in Split, Croatia. He has an older brother, Andrija, who played with several EuroLeague teams and won a championship in 2014. Zizic's competitive career began in 2013-14 on two Croatian junior teams before he moved on to another two teams the next season. Zizic enjoyed a breakout performance with KK Cibona in an October 2016 game when he posted 37 points and 20 rebounds. Two months later, he joined Darussafaka Dogus of the Turkish Super League and played 41 games before signing with the Celtics in July 2017. Zizic has represented Croatia in international events, including earning bronze at the 2014 FIBA U-18 European Championship and a silver at the 2015 FIBA U-19 World Cup. You can check him out on Instagram (@antezizic).

College/International Summary

When Zizic was 16 years old, he joined KK Split. He appeared in three games for the team's junior squad in 2013-14. The following season, he moved to Cedevita Zagreb's junior team, but he only appeared in five games. He also played for Cibona Zagreb that season and played in 25 games. Zizic averaged 7.4 points. The 6-foot-10 Croatian broke out in 2015-16 for Cibona. He provided 12.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks and was named the league's top prospect. He played half a season for Cibona before moving to Darussafaka. Before leaving the team, he went off for 37 points and 20 rebounds in a double-overtime contest. He averaged 9.0 points and 6.7 rebounds in 20 games for Darussafaka. Zizic made himself available for the 2016 NBA Draft and was selected with the 23rd overall pick by the Boston Celtics.

Headed to Israel
CFree Agent
August 25, 2020
Zizic signed a two-year contract Tuesday with Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv, EuroLeague.net reports.
ANALYSIS
Zizic was initially believed to be headed to Spanish club Real Madrid after the Cavaliers cleared him to explore opportunities overseas earlier this summer, but he'll instead flee the NBA for Israel. Drafted by the Celtics in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft, Zizic was dealt to the Cavaliers the following summer as part of the Kyrie Irving blockbuster trade. He spent the past three seasons in Cleveland, averaging 6.0 points and 3.9 rebounds in 13.4 minutes per game over 113 games.
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Past Season Summaries
2019

Zizic appeared in 22 games for the Cavaliers during the 2019-20 season. He saw 10.0 minutes per game, averaging 4.4 points and 3.0 rebounds. He shot 56.9 percent from the field and 73.7 percent from the free-throw line. Zizic set single-game season highs of 15 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block. Most of those occurred in one game, which was Jan. 5 against the Timberwolves. Zizic played 25 minutes and posted 15 points (6-7 FG, 3-4 FT), 12 rebounds, two assists and one steal. Zizic posted at least five points in 12 games, at least five rebounds in four games and at least one assist in four games. He also posted at least one steal in seven contests and at least one block in five contests. Per 36 minutes, Zizic averaged 15.6 points, 10.8 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 1.0 assists. The rates of rebounding and stealing were the highest of his career.

2018

Zizic took on a bigger role with the Cavaliers during his second season in the Association. In addition to playing in 59 games, he received 25 starts. Zizic also saw his minutes increase from 6.7 to 18.3 minutes per game. He took 5.6 field goal attempts per contest, up from 2.1 in 2017-18. The Croatian averaged 7.8 points per game, up from 3.7 points as a rookie. Zizic also notched 5.4 rebounds per contest. Zizic missed five games in late December and early January due to a knee injury. But the 6-foot-11 center finished January strong. Zizic had a 12-game January run when he averaged 12.6 points and 8.2 rebounds per contest. The strong stretch included a Jan. 16 performance versus the Nuggets where Zizic posted a career-high 23 points to go with six rebounds. For the season, Zizic delivered four double-doubles and eight games with ten or more boards.

2017

After being drafted in 2016, Ante Zizic decided to stay in the Euroleague for a season, which delayed his rookie campaign to the 2017-18 NBA season. Just before the season began, he was traded from the Boston Celtics to Cleveland Cavaliers. In his first taste of North American basketball, the Croatian big man appeared in 32 games with the Cavaliers and 18 G-League games with the Canton Charge. He showed plenty of upside during his time in the G-League. Zizic averaged 16.3 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks while shooting 57.6 percent. His 24.2 PER placed him third among all G League players. Zizic made is NBA debut on Oct. 21, with four points, four rebounds and two blocks in seven minutes during a home loss to the Magic. At the NBA level, Zizic averaged 3.7 points on 73.1 percent shooting in 6.7 minutes per game. The 6-foot-10 center recorded five double-digit scoring games, including a 20-point, 7-rebound performance in the final game of the season. All five of those performances game during his final 13 regular season appearances. During that span, Zizic averaged 6.7 points and 2.5 rebounds per game on 78.3 percent shooting.

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Transaction History
  • June 23, 2016
    Drafted by the Boston Celtics in the 1st round (23rd pick) of the 2016 NBA Draft.
  • July 1, 2017
    Signed a two-year contract with the Boston Celtics
  • August 30, 2017
    Traded by the Boston Celtics with Jae Crowder, Isaiah Thomas, a 2018 1st round draft pick and a 2020 2nd round draft pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Kyrie Irving.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
Zizic took the floor for just 32 games as a rookie in 2017-18 after being dealt to the Cavaliers from the Celtics in the Kyrie Irving trade. Considering the lack of games played and meager per game average of 6.7 minutes, he was unsurprisingly avoidable in all Fantasy formats. He did, however, show some upside in 18 G-League games, averaging 16.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks. While LeBron James is no longer on the roster, the Cavaliers do bring back Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson and Larry Nance ahead of the 2018-19 campaign, so Zizic will still struggle to get more than just a few spot minutes most nights. Look for him to spend another season in a developmental capacity and he could see some action in the G-League as well.
Draft-and-stash pick Zizic was selected by the Celtics with the 23rd overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft, spending last season developing overseas with a Turkish club in high-level Euroleague. He averaged 9.0 points and 6.7 rebounds across 21.9 minutes there and was fully expected to come Stateside and join the Celtics for the upcoming season. However, with Kyrie Irving being traded to Boston, Zizic was part of the haul brought back to Cleveland, including Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder. Zizic showed some promise during seven Summer League starts at center, as he posted 8.7 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. Zizic’s scoring opportunities, when on the floor, will come from put backs and hustle plays. If he sees the court, it will be for rim protection and rebounding. The 6-11 center also averaged 1.1 blocks in Utah and Las Vegas, an encouraging sign for his development. Still, with Tristan Thompson, Kevin Love and Channing Frye all expected to get minutes at center, Zizic could have a tough time finding a significant role during his rookie season. It seems more realistic that he'll spend a bunch of time in the G-League if he ultimately makes the Cavaliers' regular-season roster, keeping him off the Fantasy radar.
Zizic was the second of the Celtics' draft-and-stash picks in the 2016 NBA Draft, with the 6-foot-11 center from Croatia coming off the board at No. 23 overall. At 19 years old, Zizic could very well remain overseas for multiple years, but for a team with few core frontcourt players on the NBA roster beyond Al Horford, he makes for a justifiable project. Despite his youth, Zizic has already made waves in the Adriatic League. Suiting up this past season for Cibona Zagreb, Zizic produced averages of 13.4 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 25.7 minutes per game while shooting 63.9 percent from the field and 70 percent from the charity stripe. To put that production in perspective, Nikola Jokic, who emerged as one of the top rookies in the league last season with the Nuggets, averaged 11.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 25.0 minutes per game as a 19-year-old in the Adriatic League. Jokic has a three-point shooting element to his game that Zizic doesn't, but needless to say, Zizic has the look of someone who could carve out a career in the NBA. Many talent evaluators believe that Zizic has already tapped into most of his potential, and since a lot of his offensive output has stemmed from his high effort and relentless motor, there's some concern that he'll have a much more difficult time scoring when he faces off against the better athletes at the NBA level. A backup role might ultimately be in the offing for Zizic when he matriculates to North America, but he can probably be relied upon to provide a good change of pace when a starter requires rest.
More Fantasy News
Reaches agreement with Spanish club
CFree Agent
July 1, 2020
Zizic came to terms on a contract Wednesday with Spanish club Real Madrid, Sam Amico of SI.com reports.
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Makes return Saturday
CCleveland Cavaliers
February 23, 2020
Zizic (illness) played nine minutes off the bench in Saturday's 124-105 loss to the Heat, finishing with seven points (3-3 FG, 1-1 FT) and one steal.
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Doesn't play Friday
CCleveland Cavaliers
Illness
February 22, 2020
Zizic (illness) dressed for Friday's 113-108 win over the Wizards but didn't see the floor in a coach's decision.
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Likely to play Friday
CCleveland Cavaliers
Illness
February 20, 2020
Zizic (illness) is probable for Friday's contest against Washington, Kelsey Russo of The Athletic reports.
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Still sidelined
CCleveland Cavaliers
Illness
February 9, 2020
Zizic (illness) is listed as out for Sunday's game against the Clippers.
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