The start of NBA Training Camp is couple of short weeks away, and the Brooklyn Nets have finally signed their first free-agent of the offseason.
According to multiple reports, the Nets have agreed to a two-year deal with free-agent center Tyler Zeller. Only the first year of his contract is fully guaranteed.
The 27-year-old Zeller had recently been spotted working out for the Nets, along with former teammate Jared Sullinger. The Nets opted for Zeller, who stands at 7’0″ and can rebound well. He spent the past three seasons with the Boston Celtics, who waived him back on July 2. in order to create the necessary cap space to sign Gordon Hayward.
Zeller is the first UFA the Nets have agreed to terms with. Every other player the organization acquired this summer have come via the draft (Jarrett Allen) or trades (D’Angelo Russell, Timofey Mozgov, Allen Crabbe and DeMarre Carroll).
This is a much-needed depth signing for Brooklyn. Before bringing in Zeller, the Nets had only two players on their roster taller than 6’8″, and only one (Movgov) has ever played in an NBA game. Zeller should step in right away and contribute off the bench behind Mozgov and Trevor Booker, especially as Allen begins his pro-level development.
The Dallas Mavericks originally selected Zeller in the first round of the 2012 draft, but he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers on draft night. He played his first two seasons with the Cavaliers before they shipped him to Boston in a salary dump designed to help them sign LeBron James back in 2014. If you’re scoring at home, he was dumped by both of his NBA teams so that they had enough cap space to sign star players. He also has a brother named Cody, who plays for the Charlotte Hornets.
The Nets’ roster heading into camp now stands at 19 players. 14 are on guaranteed contracts. It is unclear whether the Nets will sign anyone else before the start of camp. NBA teams can carry a maximum of 20 players on their training camp rosters.