John Beilein Hopeful Ante Zizic Will Return Tomorrow vs. Philadelphia 76ers

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With the Cleveland Cavaliers currently limited when it comes to options at the center position, the availability of third-year big man Ante Zizic has become important.

Cavaliers head coach John Beilein indicated on Saturday that Zizic may see his first action of the 2019-20 season when the Cavs host the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday.

Zizic has yet to play this season due to a plantar fasciitis injury in his left foot that he suffered last month. At the time of the diagnosis, Zizic was expected to miss a month of action, a timeline that coincides with his potential return against the Sixers.

One of the chief reasons why having Zizic for any amount of time in the near future is important is because of teammate Larry Nance Jr.’s uncertain status. Nance has been dealing with an injured thumb over the past two weeks and was expected to consult with a hand specialist on Saturday concerning the issue.

Last month, the Cavaliers announced that they would not be picking up the option on Zizic’s contract. That move doesn’t preclude the Cavs from ultimately signing the veteran to a new deal that would presumably cost them less money.

Zizic was originally drafted by the Boston Celtics in 2016 and came to the Cavaliers the following year in the Kyrie Irving deal. He’s started 27 of his 91 NBA contests, the bulk of those coming last year when Tristan Thompson was out for an extended period. He has career averages of 6.4 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.