Facing a serious height deficit in a thin frontcourt, the Nets on Monday reached agreement on a two-year deal with 7-foot free-agent center Tyler Zeller, according to multiple reports. Zeller becomes the Nets’ only free-agent signing of the summer other than training-camp invitees.
The signing first was reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who said the second year of the deal is non-guaranteed, citing league sources. Zeller, who was waived by Boston on July 2, will compete for minutes at center with Timofey Mozgov and Nets first-round pick Jarrett Allen. Those two were the only Nets taller than 6-8 before Zeller was added to the roster.
The 27-year-old Zeller was the 17th overall pick of the 2012 draft by Cleveland but played the past three seasons with the Celtics. In five NBA seasons, Zeller has averaged 7.0 points and 4.4 rebounds. His best season came in 2014-15 when he started 59 games for the Celtics and averaged 10.7 points and 5.6 rebounds. Zeller is a back-to-the basket style of center who has attempted only six career three-pointers, missing them all, but he gives the Nets a big body they sorely needed.