Former Cavs center Zizic shines in Israel preseason opener

Sam Amico

Former Cleveland Cavaliers center Ante Zizic made a splash overseas when he signed with Israeli's Maccabi Tel Aviv, and has carried the buzz over to the court.

Zizic scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in Tel Aviv's 77-74 preseason victory over Hapoel Holon on Monday, putting forth an impressive showing ahead of next month's EuroLeague season opener.

Zizic officially signed with Maccabi Tel Aviv in late August following some serious negotiations with Spanish club Real Madrid. Before that, he had spent three seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and for a while, the Canton Charge of the G League.

Former NBA guard/forward R.J. Hunter added 19 points for Maccabi Tel Aviv, and former Wake Forest guard C.J. Harris led Holon with 16.

Zizic, 23, was acquired by the Cavs from the Boston Celtics in the Kyrie Irving trade in August 2017. Other than Cavs guard Collin Sexton (No. 8 overall pick, 2018), Zizic was the last player involved in that deal who remained with the same team.

Zizc appeared in just 22 games this past season, and most of those were before the team traded for center Andre Drummond. Eventually, Zizic fell behind Drummond and Tristan Thompson in the rotation, and on occasion, Kevin Love and Larry Nance Jr., too.

Along with that, the Cavs agreed to a deal with free agent center/forward Jordan Bell in June.

Zizic appeared in 59 games, started 25 and averaged 7.8 points and 5.4 rebounds in 2018-19. But those averages dropped to 4.4 points and 3.0 boards with the Cavs last season. He also made plenty of appearances with the Canton Charge of the G League during his time in Cleveland.

Zizic and Maccabi Tel Aviv are scheduled to begin the EuroLeague regular season Monday, Oct. 1 vs. Alba Berlin. The game will take place at Menora Mivtachim Arena in Israel.

Comments (1)
No. 1-1

That's because they still play "real" team basketball in Europe. NBA is toast!