Celtics stashing No. 23 pick Ante Zizic overseas

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When the Celtics drafted Guerschon Yabusele with the No. 16 pick, it was widely presumed he’d remain in Europe.

No. 23 pick Ante Zizic was more of a question.

A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:

It seemed Zizic wanted to join the NBA this season, and to maintain his rights, Boston had to offer him a contract.

But the Celtics had leverage. They had to offer just 80% of the rookie scale, not the 120% nearly every first-rounder makes. The rookie scale also might increase more than currently slotted next year if the Collective Bargaining Agreement changes. Plus, Boston appeared  to offer little playing time in a big-man rotation that includes Al Horford, Amir Johnson, Kelly Olynyk, Jonas Jerebko and maybe Tyler Zeller, who’s still a restricted free agent.

Zizic was good value at No. 23, and the Celtics can let him develop without occupying a roster spot or beginning the clock toward his free agency. This might not be his first choice, but it’s better for Boston.