San Antonio Spurs Draft Prospect: Ante Zizic

Sanjin Strukić/PIXSELL
Sanjin Strukić/PIXSELL /

The San Antonio Spurs had no problem in their depth chart at Center. Tim Duncan, Boban Marjanovich, and even occasionally LaMarcus Aldridge and David West could easily fill the role when going small.

With Duncan’s uncertainty, West opting out, and LaMarcus’ reluctance to play at the center position, that luxury of bigs could very well be an issue next season, so the Spurs have to take a look at potential prospects.

On the draft charts, there is one big man named Ante Zizic hidden in Croatia.

Zizic plays the center position, and has drawn comparisons to Zaza Pachulia and Anderson Varejao.

He stands at 6-foot-11 with a solid 7’3 wingspan, a slightly above average athlete for his size that can run, and plays hard on both ends of the floor. He’s also not afraid of contact on the inside, and loves to finish at the rim, and can rebound with energy.

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Zizic has a few options to turn to on the offensive side of the ball. He can run the pick and roll well, can play with his back to the basket, but his go-to move is a right jump hook. While most players coming into the NBA need to get stronger, it won’t take too much for him to adjust because he’s not underpowered. Zizic also is adept at catching difficult passes, which is a problem some big men have (stone hands) and he has no problem hitting free throws.

All of those things the Spurs could use at the center position. If they do indeed re-sign Boban Marjanovic, Zizic is more of a compliment than a duplicate of what they would already have.

There are areas where he will need improvement that would otherwise cause him some issues. As much as Zizic loves to roll to the basket hard, he needs work on his ability to finish against bigger, stronger players, and although he has a mid-range shot that extends to about 18 feet, it’s not a major threat. He won’t shy away from playing defense, but his biggest issue

will be his foot speed and lateral quickness.

Speed, especially on defensive rotations in the NBA, is very important, and if possible, he needs to improve the way he moves to at least play solid help defense if he is selected by the Spurs. It’s a similar issue to what Boban has, so there needs to be improvement so that there wouldn’t be the same weakness in the event of substitutions.

He also is prone to turnovers because he puts the ball down low far too much, getting stripped on post moves when he can’t counter fast enough, and he tends to get his shot blocked by smart man defenders.

Zizic is likely a solid career backup player, and will start off getting his points from the inside. He needs to develop counters in the post, and polish his game to fit in the NBA. This would be a raw talent for the Spurs to develop into exactly what they want him to be, considering his talents and if this is what they are willing to take the chance on in the future.

The Spurs always seem to stash away players overseas most teams don’t take notice of, and Zizic could be a solid backup in the future. Zizic might not be their first choice, but at no. 29 in the NBA Draft, slim pickings are usually what’s left.

Next: Mike Conley Considering Coming To San Antonio