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Celtics stashing No. 23 pick Ante Zizic overseas

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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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.