Rockets News

2016 Houston Rockets Draft Prospect Series: Ante Zizic

By Tamberlyn Richardson
May 17, 2016; New York, NY, USA; General view during the NBA draft lottery at New York Hilton Midtown. The Philadelphia 76ers received the first overall pick in the 2016 draft. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
May 17, 2016; New York, NY, USA; General view during the NBA draft lottery at New York Hilton Midtown. The Philadelphia 76ers received the first overall pick in the 2016 draft. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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The 2016 NBA Draft will take place on Thursday June 23rd with the Houston Rockets selecting 37th and 43rd. While the Rockets are without a first round pick given GM Daryl Morey’s tendency to orchestrate trades it would be unwise to count him out of making a deal to move up. With that Space City Scoop is featuring a Draft Prospect Series covering 60 of the top ranked prospects. Next up is Ante Zizic

Draft Prospect:

Specifics:

  • Height: 7′.0″
  • Weight: 249
  • Country:  Croatia, Split
  • Position: Center
  • Age: 19.4
  • Reach: 9′.3″
  • Wingspan:7′.25″
  • College or Pro League: Cibona Zagreb in the Adriatic League
  • Stat line:  21 Games, 13.4  Points Per Game, 5.4 Rebounds Per Game, 0.4 Assists Per Game

Current Rank:

Please note, the rankings below come from the most up to date versions as the time of writing. That said not all the mock drafts provide second round ranks or updates often only extend to the end of the first round.

Therefore, if you check a ranking and note the number has changed it’s likely due to updates and a shift in the rankings.

ESPN Chad Ford: 19

Draft Express: 27

NBA Scott Howard Cooper: 22

Bleacher Report: 23

The Skills:

As per Draft Express:

"He gets quite a bit of his offense rolling and cutting to the basket, where he has excellent timing, hands and touch and will often finish plays above the rim emphatically, which he seems to enjoy doing. His effort on the court might be the best thing he offers, as he is incredibly physical, runs the court with reckless abandon, and is constantly crashing the glass on both ends to come up with loose balls (over 12 rebounds per-40). He gets to the free throw line at a very high rate for that same reason, nearly 9 times per-40 minutes, and converts 74% of his attempts once there."

Weaknesses:

Again, as per Draft Express:

"Zizic’s production comes mostly off his energy and intensity-level, but that might not be enough to get the job done in better leagues where the centers are much bigger, stronger and more athletic and skilled than the ones in the Adriatic League. He needs to continue to improve his offensive polish, particularly in terms of his footwork, awareness and ability to use countermoves when his initial attempts are cut off. Continuing to improve on his shooting range and ball-handling skills will also help."

Honors and Awards:

As per Wikipedia:

The Fit:

More from Space City Scoop

Ante Zizic would be a guy Mike D’Antoni might very well salivate over adding to his roster, but the reality is he’s unlikely NBA ready. Rather he’ll be a grab and stash project who’ll be best spending time either overseas for another year or with the majority of his time spent in the D-League.

That said Zizic is a player who could surprise and develop quicker than anticipated given his international time playing against pro type players as opposed to College.

Despite the potential of Zizic and possibility he could  contribute immediately the problem is the Rockets would likely have to trade up to get him, and it’s unlikely Morey and D’Antoni will want to do that with the other areas in the roster carrying a heavier priority.

With news today Dwight Howard has opted out of his contract it may increase the odds of Morey selecting a center with one of the Rockets draft picks.  That said, would Morey be willing to trade up for Zizic?  Guess we’ll find out on Thursday.

Like many of the bigs outlined in the previous articles in the draft series Zizic offers a solid upside, but requires patience and time to develop. He’s an ideal grab and stash prospect. That fact makes him an unlikely candidate for the Rockets to trade up to grab.

He is however a player better suited to D’Antoni’s system. Still Zizic is consistently ranked in the early 20’s which means he’ll be far out of reach of the Rockets. Needing to add defense, more consistent three point shooters and players who can create their own shots.

Despite Dwight Howard likely leaving Houston and the need to replace him on the roster, selecting a draft prospect to back up Capela isn’t the ideal scenario for theRockets

Next: Draft Prospect Guerschon Yabusele

Next: Draft Prospect Chinanu Onuaku

Next: Draft Prospect Demetrius Jackson

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