IThe Celtics likely will have the most intriguing summer league team in Utah and Las Vegas when play begins next month. In addition to adding the No. 1 overall pick and potentially three second-round choices, director of player personnel Austin Ainge said Boston’s core of returning players is expected to include Jaylen Brown, Jordan Mickey, Ante Zizic and Demetrius Jackson, among others.
Zizic is expected to join the Celtics once his Turkish season is complete and should play in summer league. Yabusele will be able to resume basketball activities this summer and is expected to be ready for the start of training camp.
David 'Dubi' Pick: Sources tell me Boston sent Austin Ainge to Madrid for recent glimpse at Celtics bound Ante Zizic. YIKES. pic.twitter.com/hMRcUgNfgU
The Celtics have said they plan to sign Zizic in July, and he is eager to join his new team. For now, he has simply been watching games online and catching highlights when he can. He said he has been impressed by Thomas and Horford in particular.
“Isaiah Thomas, he is a great player,” Zizic said. “He puts whole team on his shoulders. He can do everything. He can score, he can assist, and I am really happy because maybe he is going to be my teammate next season. But right now he is unbelievable. He’s really unbelievable.”
Zizic’s strong play at such a high level has only strengthened the Celtics’ confidence in the next step. “July 1 just has to roll over on the calendar, and we’ll sign him,” Austin Ainge said. “He wants to be here, and we want him here.”
“I think this year I have improved my game, I improved my body and gained experience. So I think right now, I am ready for the NBA,” Zizic said in a telephone interview.
Zizic said he is working to improve his midrange jump shot, and he believes his developing ability to play both power forward and center will make him an asset in Boston, where coach Brad Stevens places great value in positional versatility.
Zizic has noticed that the Celtics’ greatest weakness is rebounding. That is difficult for him to see, because he knows that is one of his greatest strengths. He knows he could be giving his future teammates a boost right now. “I go on every rebound, so I think I can help on that, for sure I can,” Zizic said. “I can grab some bonus rebounds. I have a great work ethic and always will give my maximum.”
Ante Zizic’s breakthrough game in EuroLeague naturally became a topic of discussion in the press conference after the match between Maccabi Tel Aviv and Darussafaka Dogus. When David Blatt was asked about the Croatian center’s performance, he admitted that his player’s upcoming NBA move is close and, more or less, inevitable. “The problem is that he’ll probably won’t stay here for long,” Blatt said. “He’ll be with the Boston Celtics if and when both sides decide that this’ll happen. We are happy to get a player like that. Every team in Europe had the chance to sign him but no team but us did it. We were the only ones willing to bring him. It’s because we believed in him.”
"David's a really good coach," said Stevens, who texted with Blatt after Zizic signed with Darussafaka. "I think, obviously, I don't know what they are running or how they are guarding, I haven't watched how they play, but David certainly has a great feel for the way that this league works and everything else. He'll be practicing against and playing against very good players who are older, more experience and more accomplished, and then David will help, obviously, in that development as well."
Zizic's huge numbers (20.0 points, 9.2 rebounds, 69.5-percent shooting) could go down because of the increased competition in the Euroleague, but Stevens said the Celtics have been impressed while keeping tabs on him this season. They stashed Zizic overseas for further development after picking him No. 23 overall in the 2016 NBA Draft. "We've been following him really close," Stevens said. "He's had a great year up to this point. He's got a high motor, he's a tough guy. We're excited about him being a part of our future."
September 25, 2021 | 4:02 pm EDT Update
NBA Central: Brian Windhorst says Ben Simmons playing in front of Sixers fans is a ‘factor’ in him wanting out of Philadelphia “He doesn’t want to be in front of those fans. …I don’t think he intends to ever show his face there again.” (Via @Sirius XM NBA ) pic.twitter.com/Ltt0ccwARf
Here’s the deal … Jeffrey was at Casa Amigos bar in Scottsdale when he “fell and hit his head,” according to police. They say Jordan then became combative with security who were attempting to escort him out of the bar to receive medical attention. Scottsdale PD, who were in the area for an unrelated call, were summoned to assist. Cops interviewed bar staff, and eventually deemed the incident “medical in nature,” not criminal. An ambulance was called to transport JJ to a hospital.
After arriving at a local hospital, that’s when things allegedly took a turn. Jeffrey is accused of assaulting hospital staff while being treated for the injury he sustained at the bar. A report for aggravated assault, a felony, was taken at the hospital.
As for Jeffrey’s side, our sources tell us he was confused and disoriented following the fall. Jordan was NOT arrested or charged with a crime. As of this morning, he still remains in the hospital. Police tell us the relevant reports will be sent to the Maricopa County Prosecutors Office … where they will review the case and determine if charges are warranted.