WALTHAM, MA — The Boston Celtics have officially signed third overall pick Jayson Tatum and last year’s 23rd pick Ante Zizic to their rookie scale contracts.
A team source told CelticsBlog earlier Saturday Zizic was expected to complete his deal soon. Zizic had not yet signed his contract.
The Celtics also agreed to terms with German big man Daniel Theis to a two-year deal, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of
The Vertical ESPN. Theis will not sign his contract until after the free-agency period, so Boston can continue to utilize its cap space.
The first year in Theis’s deal is fully guaranteed, according to Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe.
Zizic joins the Celtics rotation as a much needed interior presence, ready to replace Amir Johnson as the lone interior defensive presence outside of Al Horford in the rotation. Tatum will develop into another go-to scorer, with potential in his rookie year to be a valuable second-unit scorer.
Absent from the announcements is Guerschon Yabusele, who is slowly but surely recovering from foot surgery to remove bone spurs. He is expected to be ready for training camp, but he will not play in summer league according to a team source. He was seen at practice Saturday running light agility drills and doing upper body and core training-room regimens.
Yabusele doing some light movement work. He may be with the team at summer league but will not play. pic.twitter.com/HwAr2mIn6k— Jared Weiss (@JaredWeissNBA) July 1, 2017
Yabusele may be stashed overseas again as the Celtics try to maintain cap space to sign Gordon Hayward or another potential free-agent target. One of the benefits to drafting Yabusele was the belief he could be stashed for two seasons as the Celtics tried to acquire a series of max players, according to sources. They would need to remove Yabusele’s cap hold from their payroll to help clear space for a max slot.
However, they will have Daniel Theis, who can fill some of the role Yabusele will eventually take over. Theis is a 6’9” big with moderate explosion and skill in the post who can also pop from deep. The 25-year-old player won defensive player of the year in the German Bundesliga this season and provides the defensive versatility Ainge covets from his bigs.