Maccabi Tel Aviv Announces Signing Of Ante Zizic

Israeli team Maccabi Tel Aviv has announced the signing of veteran center Ante Zizic, indicating in a press release that he has agreed to a two-year contract with the club.

Zizic, who has spent the last three seasons with the Cavaliers, was on track to become an unrestricted free agent in October. His new deal has been confirmed by agent Misko Raznatovic (Twitter link).

It’s a little unusual to see a player sign with an international team before his NBA contract technically expires, but the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus pandemic presumably played a part in Zizic’s early exit from Cleveland. The 2020/21 season in several European leagues is on track to get underway this fall before the NBA’s offseason begins.

[RELATED: NBPA Preparing For Possible Delay Of Free Agency Start Date]

Zizic, a 2016 first-round pick who was acquired by Cleveland in the 2017 blockbuster that sent Kyrie Irving to Boston, didn’t make a major impact in 113 games over three seasons for the Cavaliers, averaging 6.0 PPG and 3.9 RPG in 13.4 minutes per contest. The Croatian native played just 10.0 MPG in 22 contests in 2019/20 for the Cavs, but should take on a more substantial role with Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Reports earlier this summer suggested that Zizic appeared likely to join Spanish team Real Madrid for the ’20/21 season, but the two sides never finalized a deal, and the 23-year-old shifted his focus to Maccabi Tel Aviv earlier in August.

The move represents a return to Europe for Zizic, who spent time with clubs in Croatia and Turkey from 2013-17.

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