Draft and Stash Report: Zizic posts monster 18 rebound night

The “Draft and Stash Report” is published every Thursday to give fans a look into the drafted players that the Celtics currently have playing in other leagues. Boston currently holds the draft rights to Abdel Nader, Marcus Thornton, Guerschon Yabusele and Ante Zizic. Last week’s “Draft and Stash Report” can be found here.
Abdel Nader//Maine Red Claws (NBA D-League)//2016 2nd Round (58th overall)
The annual D-League showcase – which is when every team in the league plays two games each over a stretch of three days so scouts and executives from across the NBA can get a good look at every single player – was held over the weekend and it was a strong showing for Nader. He scored 29 points in Maine’s first showcase game – including the game winner with under 30 second to go – while dropping 23 points in their second match, both turning out to be wins for the Red Claws as Nader shot 17-for-35 (48.5%) from the field in the showcase. The Egyptian born swingman then turned around and scored 31 points against the Canton Charge on Wednesday after the team had returned from the showcase, but it was in a losing effort. The raw stats that Nader is putting up look tremendous when an average fan gives them a quick glance; 22.8 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 3.8 APG. But his defense is average at best for the offensively charged D-League and Nader is leading the entire league in turnovers with 4.1 per game, something that should be seen as a huge red flag in his game. He posted three, six and seven turnovers respectively over the three games this week.

Marcus Thornton//Consultinvest VL Pesaro (Italy)//2015 2nd Round (45th overall)
Consultinvest VL Pesaro got killed on Sunday as they lost by a whopping 31 points to Gemani Basket Brescia on the road, but it was still a pretty good day for Thornton off the bench. His ten points were second on the team as they were held as a unit to just 68 points. Thornton shot 4-for-11 from the floor while he also pitched in with two assists, two rebounds and a steal. The former William & Mary star has shuffled in and out of the starting lineup this year and he’s averaging 11.4 PPG with a 44.0% mark from the floor, which is far better than the 37.7% he shot from the field in Australia last season. He does seem to be improving as a player, but still might be a long shot to wind up making the NBA.

Guerschon Yabusele//Shanghai Sharks (China)//2016 1st Round (16th overall)
The Sharks have slipped up a bit by losing back-to-back games and have fallen into a first place tie. Yabusele did have a monster 33 point, 16 rebound performance in their most recent win on Friday night and the rest of his week was still pretty solid even though his team would wind up losing their next two contests. The French forward scored 17 points in their loss on Sunday and then added another 30 points on Tuesday despite coming off the bench in that game. He’s still coming off the bench most nights for Shanghai, but he’s still getting average over 30 minutes per contest and he remains the team’s second leading scorer at 21.3 PPG – behind former first round bust Jimmer Fredette – and their leading rebounder at 9.3 per game. Yabusele is shooting 53.4% from the field and 38.1% from beyond the arc.

Ante Zizic//Darussafka Dogus (Turkey)//2016 1st Round (23rd overall)
There were rumors in last week’s report that Zizic fully plans on joining the Celtics next year and his play this week showed why that is a real possibility for fans to get excited about. He started three games for the Dougs over the past seven days as the team went 2-1 over that stretch and his fingerprints were all over the success. Zizic averaged 16.6 PPG during week with a solid 68.9% shooting mark from the field. With Boston struggling on the boards this year, it’s probably his most recent performance that will have fans in New England most excited as the 6’11” Croatian snagged 18 rebounds in 33 minutes of playing time, including eight on the offensive end. Zizic has shuffled in and out of the starting lineup since joining Darussafka in late December – sometimes logging as many as 35 minutes while playing as little as ten – but having him come up big in three starts this week should mean he’s finding his way with the new team and the 20-year old big man should have a starter spot locked up by now.

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