Cavs' Zizic signing with Real Madrid, leaving Kyrie trade mostly a blank

Sam Amico

It was an anticlimactic run for Ante Zizic with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and now that run is over.

That's because Zizic has agreed to a contract with traditional Spanish power Real Madrid, according to multiple reports.

And so it goes, as only one man now remains with the same team after the Kyrie Irving trade with the Boston Celtics in August 2017.

Actually, that's not entirely true because that man is Cavs guard Collin Sexton, and he was just starting his freshman year at Alabama when the trade was made.

But Sexton is who the Cavs drafted with the 2018 lottery pick received from the Celtics via the Brooklyn Nets (No. 8 overall). Everyone else involved in the deal is somewhere else. The list includes Jae Crowder (Miami Heat), Isaiah Thomas (unsigned free agent) and Irving himself (Nets, but injured yet again).

Anyway, back to Zizic.

He was set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, after the Cavs made it known they weren't picking up the option on his contract.

The 6-foot-10 center then proceeded to give the Cavs little reason to regret the decision, falling in and out of the rotation on his way to averages of 4.0 points and 3.3 rebounds in a mere 22 appearances.

When the Cavs traded for center Andre Drummond in February, Zizic became little more than a practice body. When the Cavs agreed to a deal with free agent big man Jordan Bell at the beginning of this week, Zizic agreed to Real Madrid's offer and it's all a formality from here.

Interestingly, Zizic did show some real promise in his second season (2018-19), averaging 7.8 points on 55 percent shooting. But that was under coach Larry Drew, who appreciated Zizic's throwback style of being glued to the low post and battling under the basket.

Then came coach John Beilein, who likes his centers to be able to shoot 3-pointers. That was never Zizic and never will be.

Finally came coach J.B. Bickerstaff, who took over after the trade for Drummond. Bickerstaff appreciated Zizic, but not more than Drummond or Tristan Thompson or Larry Nance Jr., who can also man middle when the Cavs go small.

There was plenty of interest in Zizic, 23, though. It just all came from overseas and not the Cavs.

Along with Real Madrid, Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv was said to have Zizic on the radar. While no one would confirm his decision to sign with Real Madrid, he did want what everyone professional athlete wants -- the best money with a great shot at playing time.

It didn't work out with the Cavs but it appears Zizic has finally found that home.

Comments (4)
No. 1-4

What a surprise the Cav's got fleeced again. That's why they have been a national embarrassment for most of their existence.


I wouldn't say that. Looks like everyone lost in this. Boston got nothing. Erving left. Actually, I take that back. Boston got luck that Ering left!


You have to include Larry Nance in what Cleveland
got out of this trade.


Zizic could score- but was weak on D. What's crazy is that he is