The Lakers’ 2018/19 season has been riddled with mistakes. Like when they signed Michael Beasley instead of Brook Lopez, and when they let it slip that they were willing to trade everyone on the roster for AD.
Was trading Ivica Zubac another one of those mistakes? The Clippers certainly think so, going so far as laughing about it when the deal first got done in February.
“Shortly after the trade deadline, Clippers consultant Jerry West—who spent more than 40 years with the Lakers as a player, coach and executive—got together for dinner with old friends who also had former Laker ties, sources said. He couldn’t believe how Zubac fell into his lap. The Clippers, sources said, never even called the Lakers to inquire about Zubac. The Lakers made the offer and the Clippers gladly accepted.
“Sources said those at the dinner table shared a hearty laugh at the Lakers’ expense.”
Zubac wasn’t getting a whole lot of playing time for the Lakers until injuries forced the team to give him a bigger role. He averaged 11.2 points and 6.0 rebounds 18 minutes across 17 contests, modest numbers for a 22-year-old in his third NBA season.
Since his move to the Clippers, they have had no trouble finding a place for him. He has started all 20 games, averaging 9.0 points and 7.8 rebounds in 19.8 minutes per game.
While it is true their woes stem beyond the loss of Zubac, it would be fair to assume that is one trade Magic is wishing he could take back, especially considering where each team stands now.
As the Lakers look to improve their standing for the rest of the LeBron era, a young, promising center would have been a nice piece to have moving forward.