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Ante Zizic linked to Maccabi Tel Aviv

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The Croatian did not have his team option picked up by the Cavs for the 2020-21 season.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Cleveland Cavaliers Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Per a report from Israeli outlet One.co, Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv is interested in signing Cavs center Ante Zizic before next season.

Zizic, the 6’10”, 23-year-old center who has been with Cleveland since 2017, had his team option for next season declined by the Cavs earlier this season. As a result, he’ll be an unrestricted free agent this summer. Zizic came to the Cavs via the Boston Celtics in the Kyrie Irving trade. He was originally a first round pick of the Celtics in 2016.

Maccabi, one of the top clubs in Europe, plays in the EuroLeague and the Israeli league.

This year, ZIzic has averaged 4.4 points and 3 rebounds in just 22 games. For his career, he’s averaged 6 points and 3.9 rebounds. He’s never quite fit in the NBA for reasons in his control and not. In his first year, he was on the bench in LeBron James’ last year and played sparingly. In the minutes he’s had since, he’s been ok, but still stuck behind Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson and Larry Nance Jr in the frontcourt. This year, he was limited by plantar fasciitis in his left foot and vertigo. Nothing really fell into place for him.

When the team acquired Andre Drummond this year after declining Zizic’s option, it signaled that his time with the Cavs was over. Post-Cleveland, a return to Europe makes sense. Before he came to the NBA, he played for David Blatt at Turkish club Darüşşafaka, where Blatt called Zizic “Baby Shaq.” He’s still young and is skilled in an old school big type of way, so him having a productive career in Europe or elsewhere isn’t at all out of the question.