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Celtics plan to sign Ante Zizic next summer

2016 NBA Draft

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 23: Ante Zizic shakes hands with Commissioner Adam Silver after being drafted 23rd overall by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on June 23, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

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With the No. 23 pick in the 2016 NBA draft, the Celtics nabbed the No. 13 player on my board: Ante Zizic.

Zizic remained in Europe another year, and his stock has only risen. While rest of his draft class has collectively underwhelmed, by most accounts, he has progressed well.

“I am ready for the NBA,” Zizic told Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe.

Apparently, Boston agrees.

Celtics director of player personnel Austin Ainge, via Himmelsbach:

“July 1 just has to roll over on the calendar, and we’ll sign him,” Ainge said. “He wants to be here, and we want him here.”

Zizic will receive the (newly increased) rookie scale for the No. 23 pick in 2017.

The Celtics badly need his rebounding, but the 20-year-old might not be polished enough to handle other aspects of the NBA. At best, Zizic will offer a tradeoff in style with Al Horford and Kelly Olynyk (who will be a restricted free agent).

Long-term, I like Zizic’s potential. He plays with relentless energy, and he moves his 6-foot-11 frame well. I just wouldn’t count on him to make major contributions as a rookie, a high bar for anyone.