The Nets are finalizing a two-year deal with free agent Tyler Zeller. Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news Monday evening.
Free agent center Tyler Zeller is finalizing a two-year deal with the Brooklyn Nets, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 11, 2017
NetsDaily confirmed the news. A league source reports that the second year of the deal is non-guaranteed. The addition of the 27-year-old alleviates the Nets lack of depth upfront. Before word came that Zeller was joining the Nets, Sean Marks had only two players taller than 6’8” on his roster.
Speculation that he was competing against former teammate, Jared Sullinger, was born out Tuesday morning when David Pick reported that Sullinger had signed in China.
NBA free-agent Jared Sullinger signed a two-month, $300,000 deal in China with the Shenzhen Leopards, source tells me.— David Pick (@IAmDPick) September 12, 2017
Zeller, waived by the Celtics on July 2, brings the number of players to 19 on the Nets roster and the number of guaranteed deals this season to 14. The Nets also have three partially-guaranteed deals and two G League two-way deals.
The 7-footer was in for a workout recently, as was Sullinger. Zeller, a known quantity, spent only two days at HSS Training Center and apparently that was enough. Not long after news broke on Zeller signing, Sullinger tweeted...
Keep your head up!!! Gods plan not ours!!!— Jared M.X. Sullinger (@Jared_Sully0) September 12, 2017
Zeller is the first free agent, other than camp invites, signed by the Nets this offseason. The Nets added D’Angelo Russell, Timofey Mozgov, DeMarre Carroll, and Allen Crabbe through trades and they drafted Jarrett Allen.
The North Carolina product, who was part of the Tarheels 2009 national champions, is more of a traditional back-to-the-basket 4. He has never made a three-point shot in his career, going 0-for-6 in five years ... and four of those came in his rookie year.
Zeller faded from the Boston rotation the last two years. His traditional skills didn’t fit and he had a team option available. In 2014-15, he averaged 10.7 points and 5.6 rebounds, playing in 81 games, starting 59. But last year, he had a debilitating illness that laid him low, putting him out of the rotation for a long stretch headed into the playoffs. He played only 78 minutes in the postseason, with seven DNP-CDs, averaging 2.9 points and 1.7 rebounds in seven minutes per game.
His biggest number though was eight million, the number of dollars on his non-guaranteed deal. With Boston needing every dime to sign Gordon Hayward and trade for Kyrie Irving, he was the first casualty of the big wave.
He shows a bit of everything other than three-point range.
Zeller was originally taken in the first round by Dallas in 2012, then traded on Draft Night to Cleveland where he played two years with the Cavaliers. He was traded to the Celtics in a salary dump in 2014, a move that helped clear the way for Cleveland’s signing of LeBron James.
The Nets aren’t saying if they intend to use their final roster spot.
- Sources: Free-agent center Tyler Zeller agrees to 2-year deal with Nets - Adrian Wojnarowski - ESPN
- Nets sign Tyler Zeller to 2-year deal, adding depth at center - Kristian Winfield - SB Nation
- Nets add much-needed size with Celtics castoff - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Tyler Zeller agrees to deal with Nets, reports say - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Ex-Celtics center Tyler Zeller to sign a two-year deal with the Nets: report - Ari Gilberg - New York Daily News
- Report: Tyler Zeller Signing 2-Year Deal With Nets - Basketball Insiders
- Report: Tyler Zeller, Nets Agree to 2-Year Contract After 3 Seasons with Celtics - Rob Goldberg - Bleacher Report
- Nets sign free agent center Tyler Zeller to two-year deal - Elizabeth Swinton - The Brooklyn Game